June 26, 2014
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. -- Thursday's NBA draft is a big night for a lot of people.
And not just for the 60 players who will be selected, their drafters, and their families.
What transpires on Thursday night in New York will ripple across the basketball landscape, and one player who likely will be affected is former Central Michigan star Kyle Randall, who spent last season -- his first as a professional -- in the NBA Development League.
Randall, who is in Mount Pleasant this week working the CMU Basketball Camp, led the Mid-American Conference in scoring at 18.7 points per game in 2012-13, his only season at CMU.
Once the draft is complete, NBA teams will begin finalizing their respective rosters for the NBA Summer League. Randall, who played with the Sacramento Kings last summer, is hoping for the coveted call.
"I feel like my game's at a good spot," Randall said Monday. "I'm just waiting for my moment in the big leagues, the NBA."
Competition for NBA roster spots is fierce. Randall, and everybody in the game, is very well aware of that fact. Continuing to chase a dream is where it's at, day in and day out, for the 6-foot native of Youngstown, Ohio.
Randall, a shooting guard, said he has made major strides in his first year of pro ball, which he spent primarily with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants before finishing with the Canton Charge.
"I feel like I'm a lot better," he said in comparing his game today to what it was when last played for the Chippewas. "Last year, my first year in the D-League, it was kind of like I was just trying to find my rhythm and find my niche in a new league, a new system.
"Now I have a lot more confidence, which is the main thing. I know I can play at that level after being there and seeing the guys who are there. Now I feel like I'm a lot better than I was, mainly because of the confidence and the mindset that I have and also because I've been in the gym and I've been working out and I know what to work on and what to expect."
Randall appeared in 28 games last season, averaging 4.1 points and 15.1 minutes.
"I like it, it's what I want to do, it's what I've been doing my whole life and it's good now to actually be paid for it," he said. "It's definitely a lot different playing for a paycheck because you know if you don't perform, you don't get paid. There's a lot more of an incentive, a lot more on the line.
"You kind of have to intensify your workouts, intensify everything and take it to a higher level because you're at a higher level."