Another high-profile WCC senior is heading to the NBA Summer League as Johnny Dee will be playing to the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors. The team announced their roster recently, and it includes a number of notable college players. Dee will be challenged playing alongside major college stars like Aaron Craft of Ohio State and Kevon Looney of UCLA, as well as quality prospects like Matt Stainbrook of Xavier and Aqeel Quinn of San Diego State.
One might ask how the diminutive Dee managed to find his way onto the Summer League team of the best franchise in the NBA last season. But the connections are obvious. The Warriors are led by Steve Kerr who has close Southern California. His son, Nick Kerr, played his entire career at USD alongside Dee, so Kerr had a very good view of Dee’s spectacular career. The fact that Nick left USD to go to the Bay Area and try to learning coaching from his father also probably had an influence on the decision for the Warriors to take a serious look at Dee.
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How this attempt at the pros goes should be an interesting one for Dee. He’s small, even outside of athletic standards. He has little chance of developing into a star because of that. But he’s not just on this roster as a result of Kerr being nice to a friend of his son. Dee is one of the most deadly shooters out there, and Kerr knows it better than most because of how closely he followed the Toreros. The Warriors like small ball and good shooters, it’s how they won the title. Just look at MVP Stephen Curry and how he defied the odds. Dee fits this team a lot better than people might think.
It’s still a longshot, but his chances are a lot better than they might look to the naked eye. Between the connections to Kerr and his deadly shooting that can fit this roster and make up for his lack of size, Dee could do some damage. At the very least, he can get some attention for himself and set up future professional opportunities in the D-League or overseas if he wishes to pursue them. After battling from a walk-on player to one of the best shooters in the nation during his college career, it’s nice to see him get a shot at the top professional level.