By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
DWIGHT Coleby hopes to make an impression in the NBA Summer League as he pursues his first pro basketball contract.
Coleby had to cut his time with the national basketball team short when he was named to the 2018 Las Vegas Summer League and mini-camp roster of the New Orleans Pelicans.
The former Western Kentucky Hilltopper was with Team Bahamas at the third window of the FIBA Americas Qualifier when he learned of the announcement.
The Pelicans will hold a four-day minicamp at their practice facility in Metairie that begins Monday and ends Thursday.
The roster will be highlighted by several recent franchise draft picks including third-year forward Cheick Diallo, 2017 second-round pick Frank Jackson and 2018 second-round pick Tony Carr.
The Pelicans are assured of at least five Summer League contests in Vegas, the first edition of the tournament that will include all 30 of the league’s teams.
They will make their debut on July 6 against the Toronto Raptors at Thomas & Mack Center, followed by games against the Miami Heat on July 7, and the Detroit Pistons on July 9 to finish pool play prior to the single-elimination tournament. This will be the first year all 30 teams will participate in the Las Vegas Summer League.
Last month, Coleby began his path to pro basketball with the first of his pre-NBA Draft workouts. He was one of several players hosted by the Utah Jazz in the second round of the franchise’s pre-draft workouts.
Walt Perrin, VP of Player Personnel for the Jazz said these workouts serve the purpose of discovering talent that may not be drafted but may have a place in the organisation through summer league or the G-League.
Coleby posted a double double in the final game of his collegiate career, but the postseason run for his Western Kentucky Hilltoppers ended in the National Invitational Tournament semi-finals in a 69-64 loss to the Utah Utes. He finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
WKU finished the season 27-11 and they achieved the programme’s most wins in a decade. Their 38 games played tied the programme record and their three postseason victories also tied a school record as they advanced to the NIT semis for the first time since 1954.
Coleby averaged 11.1 points and 7.9 rebounds per game in his lone season as a graduate transfer in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
In his senior season with the Kansas Jayhawks, he averaged 1.7 points and 1.8 rebounds per game in his lone season in Lawrence after transferring from Ole Miss. He was already set to spend the 2015-16 season on the sidelines as a transfer but he suffered a torn ACL in his left knee during a light team workout in October 2015 and had to undergo a gruelling rehab process.