Courtesy: Jason Kaufman/CMU Athletics
Randall Begins Pro Journey with NBA Summer League Experience
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - Former Central Michigan point guard Kyle Randall got his first taste of professional basketball last month, appearing in three games for the Sacramento Kings' NBA summer league squad.

The Kings played five games at UNLV's Thomas & Mack Center as part of the Las Vegas summer league, which ran from July 12-22.

Randall played a total of 33 minutes in his three appearances. In his debut against Golden State on July 15, he scored three points, grabbed two rebounds and handed out two assists in 10 minutes of action. He posted two rebounds, three assists and a steal in 12 minutes two days later against Minnesota, then tallied two points, one rebound, two assists and two steals in 11 minutes against Atlanta in the Kings' summer league finale on July 19.

"I know some other people had some doubts, but I reassured myself that I can play at that level," Randall said. "Obviously I have to keep improving, and there are definitely some noticeable things in my game I can improve on. I always thought I can compete at that level, and I think I answered a lot of questions for other people who didn't think that I could."

Along with providing valuable playing experience against NBA competition, the summer league served as an educational opportunity for Randall to familiarize himself with the lifestyle of an NBA player.

"That was great to take in," said Randall. "They also had a rookie orientation while we were there that talked about finances, marketing plans and things like that. The NBA just did a really nice job of incorporating everything about the NBA experience."

Randall emerged as a dynamic offensive threat in his one season in Mount Pleasant, leading the Mid-American Conference in scoring (18.3 ppg) and earning All-MAC and NABC All-District second team accolades. He credits CMU head coach Keno Davis and his staff for giving him an opportunity to excel and helping prepare him for the next level of competition.

"The coaches knew that I wanted to continue to play after college, so they coached me like a pro," Randall said. "They all have ties overseas or in the NBA, so they understand what it takes to be successful at that level. They gave me the freedom to play my game within the offense, and that really boosted my self-confidence."

Davis, in turn, cannot overstate the impact Randall had on the program during his relatively short time as a Chippewa.

"He fit perfectly for what we needed in our first year here," Davis said of Randall. "We knew we had mostly very young players who were hard workers but inexperienced. We knew the type of character Kyle has, which showed in the fact that he had graduated in three years, so we were hopeful he would be a leader for us during the transition year. In our style of play, we want to be explosive over the entire 94 feet of the floor both offensively and defensively, and Kyle was a perfect fit for that system. We were able to play to his strengths, but for him to lead the conference in scoring, I think was beyond any of our expectations.

"I think the impact that Kyle Randall had here, for the most part, hasn't been seen yet," Davis said. "How our freshmen and other young players develop will be a direct result of the impact and influence Kyle had on them."

So what's next for Randall? He currently is fielding contract offers from professional teams in Europe and plans to spend the 2013-14 season playing abroad.

"The journey to the NBA is still going," he said. "I'm going to play overseas this coming season, then I'll do the NBA summer league again next summer and start that process again."

And while Randall continues chasing his dream, Davis will continue to use him as a model for the type of student-athlete he wants in his program at CMU.

"We tell recruits that we want you to be able to graduate from Central Michigan with opportunities, whether those opportunities are in the job market or continuing your basketball career," Davis said. "Kyle is a great example of that. He is going to have decisions to make, both in continuing to play basketball and when he enters the job market. Having those types of opportunities available is what will help continue to attract quality student-athletes to Central Michigan in the future."
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