LeBron James isn’t the only one taking his talents to the left coast.
Rising junior forward and reigning NIT Most Outstanding Player Lamar Stevens will be heading to Los Angeles this week where he’ll attend the 2018 Nike Basketball Academy.
Stevens’ invitation to the annual event, which runs from Aug. 8-12, marks a new hallmark for the Nittany Lions, as he’ll represent Penn State for the second straight year following recent New Orleans Pelicans draft pick Tony Carr’s attendance at last year’s installment.
“We’re proud of what we accomplished last year as a team and this invitation for Lamar is a testament to his development and hard work throughout the season,” said head coach Patrick Chambers, via a Penn State press release. “Lamar will have the opportunity to learn from some of the NBA’s best and he’ll benefit from that instruction.”
Stevens, along with Purdue standout Carsen Edwards, will be one of approximately 20 collegiate basketball players heading to Los Angeles, where he’ll take part in a number of drills and competitions over the four day event. In past years the Nike Basketball academy has including premium training sessions, a combine experience, off-court workouts, film sessions, and 5-on-5 competition, all led by current and former NBA players.
“This is an amazing opportunity to represent Penn State basketball and myself, and I am honored to be selected for the Nike Basketball Academy,” said Stevens. “Just as important as what I will learn and how my game will develop with this experience, is what I will be able to contribute to my team when I return.”
Taking full advantage of this opportunity will be an important step in the Philadelphia products development, as Stevens will look to improve on a sophomore campaign that saw him average 15.5 point per game, while reaching double figure point outputs in 33 games.
Stevens is a talented player with a ton of potential to sneak in under the radar for Big Ten Player of the Year consideration next season. And if he does so, he, along with returning senior guard Josh Reaves and junior forward Mike Watkins, should be able to fill the void of the departed Carr and potentially guide the Lions to its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2011.