Basketball alums show pro talents

Five former Musketeers played for various teams in the NBA Summer League

Newswire photos by Sydney Sanders | JP Macura (left) faces off against an opponent while Trevon Bluiett (right) plots his next move during a Jan. 24 game against St. John’s. Macura and Bluiett were among the five former men’s basketball players represented in the NBA Summer League, each with a different organization. 

Five former Xavier men’s basketball players took part in the NBA’s annual Summer League. Trevon Bluiett, JP Macura, Edmond Sumner, Kaiser Gates and Semaj Christon all played for different organizations.

Playing for the New Orleans Pelicans’ summer league team, Bluiett impressed with his shot-making ability. In his four games played, Bluiett averaged 18.3 points per game while shooting 57 percent from the field.

Bluiett also averaged 3.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game, showcasing his all-around game and how it fit in with NBA-caliber talent. He also had three blocks, which is one fewer than he had his entire junior year.

Macura also impressed with his play in Las Vegas for the Charlotte Hornets. Though he didn’t put up great numbers — six points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game — Macura impressed people with his hustle and off-ball defense.

He averaged 1.4 steals a game, shot 60 percent from the field and earned a technical foul late one game. Macura, much like Bluiett, looked a lot like he did while playing for Xavier.

Sumner looked to be close to fully recovered while playing with the Indiana Pacers’ summer league squad. In 19.3 minutes a game, Sumner averaged 11.3 points, 2.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.3 steals a game while shooting 47 percent from the field.

After Gates forewent his final year of eligibility for Xavier, he played in the summer league for the Chicago Bulls. He earned 14 minutes a game and managed to average 6.7 points and 1.7 rebounds during those 14 minutes.

Christon played with the Brooklyn Nets and got 15.6 minutes a game. However, he struggled shooting from the field, only managing to make 19 percent of his shots and score 2.6 points a game. He impacted the game in other ways, though, getting his teammates involved with 2.0 assists a game.

Though none of the former Musketeers were able to win the summer league championship, each made his presence known in some way. Christon and Sumner have already played in the NBA, but this was the first taste of it for Bluiett, Macura and Gates, all of whom hope to make an impact this upcoming season.

By: Donnie Menke | Staff Writer