Story By: Sol Tucker
Photos By: Sol Tucker
Well the first week of training camp is in the book and it looks as if the Washington Wizards are as ready as they can be to get started on the season. Many of the players have talked all week about the feel on the campus of Towson University and how it has made them hungry for the upcoming season.
It’s like going back to school for the first time, or even when you were recruited and then stepped on the campus, you didn’t know what to expect, but you knew it felt good, said Baltimore native and Wizards newcomer Gary Neal.
“You kind of get that feeling on campus,” he said. “We went out to dinner as a team this week down the road, and you get that college feel when you see the faces in a college town.” You also get the feeling of what we need to get done as a team here and we are all ready to get that started.
Both Bradley Beal and John Wall seem to have been taking the role of getting it done too. Both challenged each other on Thursday and didn’t seem to miss too many shots in the final minutes we were able to check out of their practice before they returned to Verizon Center for the remainder of camp and the start of preseason.
Other players who seem to take the mentoring from Wall and Beal include the 19 year Kelly Oubre Jr. He has said that Wall and Beal have played a big role in helping him get adapted to the league and what it will take this season.
“I’m a rookie and the youngest guy on the team, of course, so there’s a lot of older guys and veterans, guys that have been around,” said Oubre. “So they kind of embraced me as their younger brother so I kind of take that role and I just try to learn from them as much possible.” Oubre could be seen working with Wizards coaches on all levels of his shooting and even was taking some mentoring from Otto Porter.
“Oh yea, Otto, he likes to joke around a lot, but like me, he was once in that rookie role and I can learn a lot from a guy like him too. I look forward to being around this entire team this season and doing whatever I can to help us win games,” said Oubre.
Washington opens its preseason schedule on Tuesday against Philadelphia at home. Look for Randy Wittman to make a few final looks for what might help this team going into the regular season.
Oct. 6 vs. Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Oct. 9 vs. New York, 7 p.m.
Oct. 11 vs. Bauru (Brazil), 6 p.m.
Oct. 16 at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Oct. 17 at Milwaukee, 8:30 p.m.
Oct. 21 at Miami, 8 p.m.
Oct. 23 at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.