FAIRFAX, Va. (DC News Now) — On Thursday, George Mason men’s basketball finished up summer practices.
The team has been putting in the work all summer, on the practice court, and in the Kenner Summer League in D.C.
Among the players competing from the Patriots are Freshmen Justyn Fernandez, Devin Dinkins, and Elvis Nnaji. All three have had no game time experience at the college level, which is something the Kenner League provides ahead of their rookie college campaigns.
“It’s definitely been good,” said Fernandez. “Playing against college guys, pros. Playing against those guys is definitely a good thing because we kind of get to go up against somebody that has been there before, done it before.”
“I think it’s just a great opportunity to go out there with a lot of high level guys,” said Dinkins, who’s a local guy that graduated from Gonzaga High School. “I haven’t really played since my high school season, so it was good to get some bumping with some high level guys that have played professional or in college.”
For George Mason men’s basketball coach Kim English, it’s another way for the next level of guys to practice their craft.
“I think it presents a unique opportunity,” said English. “Summer is about working on your game in a game setting. So, the Kenner League creates an incredible opportunity for our guys to work on what they’ve been working on in the spring and the summer.”
It’s a big jump from high school ball to college ball. Some of the Patriot freshman have never face competition like this before, and could be a rude awakening. However, it can also be a way to motivate them.
“In high school, I was always bigger than most the people in my conference and always got called for fouls for being stronger than everybody else,” said Nnaji. “My passes were a little too hard most of the time, but now everybody is at the same place as me. So, I can be able to get better and see and compare myself to other people, and then move myself up.”
George Mason men’s basketball kicks off their 2022 campaign in November. Dates have yet to be announced.