D-League's Shane Edwards on Nuggets' Vegas Summer League Roster
Edwards, a 23-year-old rookie out of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock last season, was invited to play for the Thunderbirds for a local tryout but failed to make the D-League team's opening night roster.
"Well, getting cut at first didn't stop me from working hard and getting better to find a spot on someone's team," Edwards told FanHouse. "It has always been this way -- where I really have to earn a spot or earn a shot to show people I can play -- so it wasn't a real shock to me. I just went back home and got back to work because I knew that eventually it would all pay off."
His extra work paid off the following month as Edwards was reacquired by the Thunderbirds due to an injury to another player. He'd go on to start 25 of his 39 games for the Thunderbirds while averaging 12.7 points and 5.3 rebounds.
All of the ups and downs during his first season have now paid off, too, as FanHouse has confirmed that he'll play for the Denver Nuggets in the Vegas Summer League next month.
"In the Vegas Summer League, I just hope to showcase what I do best -- just try to improve and work on the skills that I feel I need to master in order to play at the next level," Edwards said. "I'd like to showcase my ability to finish strong around the basket with contact and my athletic ability to get up and down the court."
Edwards was able to finish around the basket this past season in the D-League with startling accuracy, shooting 63% from the field as an undersized power forward able to beat bigger players off the dribble. Standing just 6-foot-7, though, he'll more than likely have to transition into a wing player to have a chance at making an NBA roster.
"I'm not sure what my role will exactly be in the NBA, but my mindset is to do whatever is asked of me to help the team in whatever role they need me," Edwards explained.
For Edwards to have success in the NBA it may have to be the same way his assistant coach in Albuquerque, Darvin Ham, made a career playing in the league: hard work and versatility.
"(Ham) knows the game very well because he's played it for so long that he has an excellent understanding of the game from a player's perspective and was able to teach me how to do the little things," Edwards said. "I also worked with Darvin to develop my post skills. He gave me stuff I could work with on the block and off the block, and I think my post skills got a lot better. I really learned a lot from him."
Edwards is represented by former NBA player Greg Foster.