One Shot: Brian Kortovich Wants An NBA Team To Take A Chance
NBA hopeful Brian Kortovich just wants an NBA team to take a real chance on him. Since graduating from Urbana University in 2006, after being injured during his short stint at Manhattan College, he’s been on a journey to make a NBA team any way possible.
A 6’0″ guard, the Ohio native spent 2009 and 2010 in pre-season workouts with the Nets and Knicks, but is still yet to make an NBA roster for the regular season or summer league play.
Kortovich has been doing everything to stay around the game while he awaits his chance in the NBA. He regularly does individual workouts with former Providence College guard Jamel Thomas, and to put money in his pocket, Kortovich instructs his own individual workouts as well.
Exposure from playing ball in tournaments throughout New York also landed him a spot as an extra in the 2010 movie Just Wright, which stars rapper Common as a basketball player for the Nets. But Kortovich is looking for the real thing.
Kortovich was hoping to make a summer league squad this year and showcase his talents for the whole league, but NBA labor agreement issues that could mean no 2011-12 regular season have sources telling him that there won’t even be a summer league in 2011.
Kortovich is looking for other opportunities to get recognized by an NBA team. He recently gained citizenship in Croatia, where he spent a week in late June trying out for the Croatian national team. Kortovich is optimistic that he’ll get a call back after the positive feedback he got during his week there.
Kortovich is also signed to the Texas Legends, the NBDL affiliate of the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks. He plans to begin playing with them in the fall. There he will get a chance to be seen by scouts throughout the country as opposed to just the coaches at a specific mini-camp.
As a strong shooter from the perimeter, Kortovich impressed LeBron James early in James’ NBA career at a shooting clinic, and even has coaches confident in the possibility of Kortovich’s dream becoming reality.
“Brian is a lights out shooter and has a great understanding of the game,” said New York Knicks assistant coach Dan D’Antoni. “He has been overlooked for whatever reason. He can play in the NBA and proved it against our guys.”
So far Kortovich sees his lack of size and exposure playing at a big school as two of the biggest obstacles to getting the shot he wants in the NBA. But when he’s out on the court having an impact in scrimmages with solid NBA players, like Amar’e Stoudemire for example, Kortovich believes that the main thing keeping him from the League is someone recognizing his talent and acting on it.
“Honestly I think I’m one call away from getting there.”