He finally got a taste of the NBA and Sindarius Thornwell made the most of it. The reigning SEC Player of the Year out of South Carolina had a stellar debut against the Lakers on July 7. He scored 26 points and led the Clippers to an overtime victory in his first NBA summer league game.
I caught up with The Gamecock great at the DJ Swearinger Celebrity Alumni basketball game and he has taken a lot from his experience in Las Vegas.
"It helped me a lot with my confidence being in a NBA game and it gave me a feel of the game and how it's played and learning a different offense all over again," Sindarius said. "And also just guarding you know those guys and just preparing me for training camp and then the season.
Sindarius said the hardest thing about playing in the NBA for him has been closing out on shooters on the defensive end. Orangeburg native Brice Johnson who led the Clippers in scoring during the summer league has taken Sindarius under his wing to help with his transition.
"Brice has been with me since I got out there after the draft. He showed me the ropes and I've been following his steps ever since. I'm just going to continue to follow him because he's been through the ropes and knows what it takes to survive a year. So you know I'm getting all the help I can from him."
Sam Cassell was the head coach for LA during the summer league. He and head coach Doc Rivers already have a nickname for their second round pick from Lancaster.
"They call me pitbull," Sindarius said. "They like the fact that I'm aggressive. You know I play hard and I play defense and I bring the intangibles to the team that I think the team doesn't really have. I bring toughness and I think they really like me right now."
The LA Clippers will have training camp in Honolulu at the University of Hawaii later this Fall.