The Sacramento Professional Developmental League tips off a new season at Capital Christian with double-header games Mondays and Wednesdays, starting at 6:30 p.m.
Bee All-Metro players young and older will take the floor, as they have since 1990 under the direction of noted area strength and conditioning coach Guss Armstead as this has been an ideal venue to hone skills, compete at a higher level and prepare for the college game. The SPDL also features athletes in college and who are competing professionally in the NBA D-League or overseas.
Tonight, Bee Player of the Year Dakarai Allen of Sheldon High School takes on Darin Johnson, his Huskies teammate headed to Washington.
Allen is off to San Diego State. Johnson has worked out extensively with Armstead of late.
"He won't pump your head with all sorts of stuff about how great you are," Johnson said. "He'll let you know about your weaknesses and how to make it a strength. This summer will be good to get back into the game, playing against older dudes who have played in college and professionally. It'll only make me better."
Bee All-Metro post Eric Stuteville of Casa Roble will compete in the SPDL, facing older and stronger athletes as he prepares for his Sacramento State experience.
"We use the SPDL as extensive training, helping guys prepare for D-I, like it did for Ryan Anderson and DeMarcus Nelson (formerly of Sheldon and Duke). You can't beat game experience at a higher pace, higher speed."
* Still got game - A Bee All-Metro star from yesteryear will suit up in the SPDL in Phil Ricci, a power forward out of Galt High in the late '90s. He had a Kings training camp invite last decade and has flourished overseas in Spain, Korea and the last few seasons in Japan.
Said Armstead, "Ricci is the most fundamentally sound post guy I've worked with." Kevin Galloway of Sacramento High, a former Bee Player of the Year, is also in the SPDL. The 6-foot-7 point/forward was in the NBA D-League last season.
* Flashback SPDL - New Orleans Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson, the NBA's Most Improved Player in 2012 and The Bee's Player of the Decade out of Oak Ridge High School, recently said of Armstead and the SPDL, "Guss has really helped my career. You learn and improve with him."
Matt Barnes of the Clippers, a Del Campo All-Metro star from the late 1990s said of Armstead, "I wouldn't have made it without Guss and that league."
With the Kings new ownership change, Armstead said he isn't sure if any Kings players will stop by the SPDL for a game or two. In recent seasons, Isaiah Thomas, Donte Greene and Jason Thompson made appearances.
Visit the league's Facebook site for more information at www.facebook.com/spdlhoops
- Joe Davidson
- On Twitter: @SacBee_JoeD
On Podcast: ESPN1320.net