TribLIVE

| Sports

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Zanna among players working toward NBA goal in summer leagues

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pitt's Talib Zanna pulls down a rebound next to Florida's Patric Young during the second half of an NCAA Tournament third-round game Saturday, March 22, 2014, at Amway Center in Orlando, Fla.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pitt's Talib Zanna pulls down a rebound next to Florida's Patric Young during the second half of an NCAA Tournament third-round game Saturday, March 22, 2014, at Amway Center in Orlando, Fla.
NBAE/Getty Images - Former Pitt standout Talib Zanna, driving against ex-teammate Steven Adams on July 6, 2014, averaged 2.2 points and 1.6 rebounds for the Philadelphia 76ers in the Orlando NBA summer league.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>NBAE/Getty Images</em></div>Former Pitt standout Talib Zanna, driving against ex-teammate Steven Adams on July 6, 2014, averaged 2.2 points and 1.6 rebounds for the Philadelphia 76ers in the Orlando NBA summer league.
NBAE/Getty Images - Lamar Patterson of the Atlanta Hawks handles the ball against the Houston Rockets during the Samsung NBA Summer League 2014 on July 19, 2014, at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>NBAE/Getty Images</em></div>Lamar Patterson of the Atlanta Hawks handles the ball against the Houston Rockets during the Samsung NBA Summer League 2014 on July 19, 2014, at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas.

ACC Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Summer camp

Area players in NBA summer leagues:

Gilbert Brown (Pitt) Milwaukee/Las Vegas

Tim Frazier (Penn State) Philly/Las Vegas

Kevin Jones (West Virginia) Indiana/Orlando

DeAndre Kane (Schenley) Lakers/Las Vegas

D.J. Kennedy (Schenley) Minnesota/Las Vegas

Lamar Patterson (Pitt) Atlanta/Las Vegas

Talib Zanna (Pitt) Philly/Orlando

Monday, July 21, 2014, 9:40 p.m.
 

Former Pitt standout Talib Zanna, one of several area basketball players who participated in two recent NBA summer leagues, played five games with the Philadelphia 76ers.

That meant sharing playing time with 2013 first-round draft pick Nerlens Noel.

“It was a great experience,” said Zanna, who joined Philadelphia after not being selected in the June draft. “My dream is playing in the NBA. I plan to keep fighting until I make it.”

Other local players with similar NBA dreams also played summer league ball, including Pitt's Lamar Patterson, Milwaukee's second-round pick who was traded to Atlanta; former Pitt forward Gilbert Brown; former Schenley standout and Iowa State star DeAndre Kane; former Penn State guard Tim Frazier; former Schenley and St. John's standout D.J. Kennedy; and former West Virginia star Kevin Jones.

Pitt center Steven Adams, Oklahoma City's 2013 first-round pick, played in the Orlando summer league and faced Zanna after the pair started for the Panthers a year earlier.

“It's not going to happen overnight,” said Zanna, who returned to his home in Maryland following summer league play. “Right now, I don't know what my next step is going to be.”

Averaging just over nine minutes at center, Zanna averaged 2.2 points and 1.6 rebounds in the Orlando summer league.

Noel, recovering from a knee injury that caused him to miss his rookie season, received a much longer look from Philadelphia's coaching staff.

“Noel isn't a traditional offensive post-up player, he's more transition and follow-ups,” said agent Jarinn Akana, who represents Zanna. “Since that was Noel's role, it was kind of hard to play him and Talib together.”

Zanna said he could have displayed his scoring ability more if he had played power forward — his natural position — but Akana said the switch to center permitted Zanna to showcase other areas of his game.

“It was a good opportunity for him to play the pro game and figure out the differences from college,” Akana said. “A lot of free agent guys, undrafted guys, want to come in and score but they miss the boat. Teams have those type of guys already. That's where Talib fits in. He does some things that translate to the NBA: rebound, run the floor and play defense.”

NBA training camps open Oct. 1. Zanna said Philadelphia didn't invite him to training camp, so he will explore other NBA options, as well as playing in the Development League or playing professionally overseas.

“I'm going with the flow and whatever happens, happens,” Zanna said. “Just preparing for the next opportunity.”

Patterson, who teamed with Zanna during Pitt's first season in the ACC, averaged 25 minutes in six games with Atlanta at the Las Vegas summer league. It was an excellent showcase opportunity for Patterson, who averaged 6.0 points, 1.2 assists and 1.5 steals — especially after the Hawks signed free agent Kent Bazemore to a two-year, $4 million contract and executed a sign-and-trade for veteran Thabo Sefolosha. Like Patterson, Bazemore and Sefolosha can swing between guard and forward.

John Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jharris@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JHarris_Trib.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Pitt

  1. Movement along the offensive line continues for Pitt as opener approaches
  2. ACC faces many variables on potential TV network to rival SEC, Big Ten
  3. Pitt to open ACC play vs. Syracuse at home
  4. Youngstown State looking for repeat performance against Pitt
  5. Injured DT Render missing from Pitt depth chart
  6. Pitt men’s basketball adds junior-college guard
  7. Pitt basketball team starting to get injured players back
  8. College football preview: ACC
  9. Despite being suspended, Boyd still making contributions for Pitt