Dennis Smith Jr. Bam Adebayo. Frank Mason III. What do all these players have in common? Drafted in the 2017 NBA Draft. Loaded Family.
With the 9th Pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the Dallas Mavericks took the first Loaded player off the board, with their selection of Dennis Smith Jr, freshman PG from NC State. Smith attended Trinity Christian School, in Fayetteville, North Carolina. By his junior season, he was the Gatorade Basketball Player of the Year for the state of North Carolina. That summer, 2015, Smith ran with Team Loaded NC, along with Bam Adebayo. This duo contributed to leading their team to win the Adidas Uprising Gauntlet 17U Championship. Also it was during this summer, Dennis Smith Jr, led Team Loaded to a victory in the ESPNU: Summer Showcase. Ranked a 5-Star guard, Smith committed to play his college hoops at North Carolina State University. While at NC State, Smith averaged 18 points, and 6 assists per game.
The next Loaded player taken off the board was Kentucky’s Bam Adebayo, by the Miami Heat. Adebayo also attended high school in North Carolina, his junior year, attending Northside High School, where he averaged 32 points and 18 rebounds a game. His senior season, Bam transferred to High Point Christian Academy, where he average 19 points and 13 rebounds a game, and a state championship appearance. In 2016, he was named North Carolina’s Mr. Basketball and the Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of North Carolina. In addition to his high school career, Bam also played on the Adidas Uprising Circuit alongside Dennis Smith Jr. Adebayo was a McDonald’s All-American, and also participated in the Jordan Brand Classic. Bam Adebayo committed to play his college hoops at Kentucky live on ESPN’s Mike & Mike In The Morning. Adebayo averaged 13 points, and 12 rebounds in one season at Kentucky.
National Player of the Year. Bob Cousy Award. First-Team All American. Big 12 Player of the Year. Frank Mason III certainly stacked his resume in his final season as a Kansas Jayhawk. Before Frank became a Jayhawk, he attended Petersburg High School in Petersburg, VA, where he scored 1,901 points in his career, second only to Moses Malone. Mason originally signed to Towson University, but due to a lost of eligibility, attended Massanutten Military Academy, for a prep year after high school. It was during this time, Frank was discovered running with Team Loaded on the Adidas Uprising Circuit by Kansas assistant, Kurtis Townsend, and was offered a scholarship by the University of Kansas. During his four years at Kansas, his numbers increased each season. Mason took on the leadership role of the Jayhawks during his senior season, where he became the first player in Big 12 history to average 20 points, and 5 assists per game. Due to his regular season accolades, Frank was named a consensus first team All-American selection, and received multiple player of the year awards including, AP Player of the year, USA Today Player of the Year, and the Oscar Robertson Award. Frank was selected in the 2nd round by the Sacramento Kings.
But these players aren’t the only Loaded family to find their place in the NBA with the 2017 Draft. Former Loaded player, Andrew White III, signed a free agent deal with the defending Eastern Conference champion, Cleveland Cavaliers. After having a successful grad season at Syracuse after transferring from Kansas and Nebraska respectively, White III, can bring his unique skillset to a team that came up short to the Golden State Warriors in this year’s NBA Finals.
Another former Loaded player, Troy Caupain, will run with the Toronto Raptors Summer League squad. Caupain, a former Cincinnati Bearcat, is the only player in the school’s history to have more than 1,300 career points and 500 assists. The Bearcats went 30-6 behind Caupain. The Raptors have gained a player that is durable, averaging more than 30 minutes per game for the Bearcats this past season. Caupain will also bring defensive stability to the Raptors squad, averaging at least one steal per game during this past season. The Raptors will participate in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, Nevada, July 7-17.
The Loaded Family is very proud of these five guys and their accomplishments thus far. Each player can and will make an impact on the NBA.
By, Meliah Green