The NBA Playoffs are in full gear, but that doesn’t stop teams from already preparing next season. Three of those teams will be spending the weekend seeing if a Badger could fit into those future plans. Former Wisconsin center Greg Stiemsma and current seniors Joe Krabbenhoft and Marcus Landry each have upcoming tryouts with NBA clubs.
“I'm looking forward to the opportunity, but I'm trying not to get too over-excited about the tryout,” Krabbenhoft explained. "I've been training and working hard since the season ended and hopefully I can compete at the highest level."
All three players are hoping to use these auditions as a launching pad to a spot in the NBA’s summer league. Following these tryouts, each of the players will participate in free agent camps in front of representatives from several NBA teams.
Stiemsma, who graduated from Wisconsin in 2008, will visit Memphis for a three-day workout with the Grizzlies. The Randolph, Wis. native spent last season splitting time between Oyak Renault Bursa of Turkey and the Seoul SK Knights of South Korea. Stiemsma also spent the final week of the NBDL season playing one game for the Sioux Falls Skyforce.
“It’s been quite a whirlwind for me going from Turkey to Korea and then all of a sudden playing for Coach Tanner Bronson in Sioux Falls,” Stiemsma said. “It feels great to have put in the hard work in high school, college and last year overseas and then get some recognition and have some doors open.”
Stiemsma, who did not participate in any NBA tryouts a year ago after graduation, feels he has something to prove this summer.
“I wasn’t getting NBA opportunities last year, so I’m excited to show people that my game and confidence have improved,” Wisconsin’s sixth-leading blocker of all-time added. “And if things don’t work out in the States, I would have no problems going back and playing in Europe again. I learned a lot playing overseas.”
Krabbenhoft is pulling double-duty these days, preparing to graduate from Wisconsin in the coming days and trying out for the Portland Trailblazers this weekend. The Badgers’ all-time leader in games played, Krabbenhoft averaged 8.2 points and 6.7 rebounds as a senior in 2008-09.
Fellow senior Marcus Landry has already been working the NBA-preparatory circuit, competing in various all-star games and will now be spending the weekend in Houston trying out for the Rockets. In Houston, Landry could be reunited with his brother, Carl, who averaged 9.2 points and 5.0 rebounds per game this season for the Rockets.