A different way to the NBA

It could have been one of the worst days of his life. After more than three hours and 60 names, former South Florida center Kentrell Gransberry was without an NBA team.

Despite the disappointment of not hearing his name called during Thursday’s NBA draft, Gransberry may still wind up on a professional roster – albeit in a different way than he hoped.

“There are different ways to get into the league,” he said.

Friday, Gransberry was offered one of those different ways to get on an NBA roster.

He was offered a contract by the Detroit Pistons to play on their summer league team. The league, which runs from July 11-20, will have 21 teams and will give Gransberry a chance to show the Pistons how he plays in a 5-on-5 situation.

Gransberry has a difficult task at hand. The invitation to the summer league does not guarantee him a spot on an NBA roster, and the Pistons have been in the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals for six consecutive seasons.

If he does not make it onto the Pistons’ roster, he could still wind up on their NBA Developmental League team, the Fort Wayne Red Ants.

“I know that this is a great opportunity,” Gransberry said. “I can’t count out any options and I have to keep counting my blessings because I have another opportunity to show everybody out there what I can do.”

Had Gransberry been drafted, he would have been the second USF player in three years to be picked by an NBA franchise.

The Atlanta Hawks took former USF forward Solomon Jones in the second round of the two-round NBA draft in 2006.

Though he didn’t hear his name called Thursday, Gransberry is still focused on achieving his ultimate goal: making an NBA roster.

“Everybody wants to hear their name called on draft day,” he said. “I’m just going to have to take the long road and do whatever it takes to get in.”