All it takes is one call. Just one call to change everything. For Brayon Blake, that call came over the weekend, while training with his uncle in Houston.
“It was stressful, man,” Blake recalled. “Not knowing if I was going to be able to get in there. But when I got that call, I didn’t know what to do. I was sitting on the floor for a little bit.”
The call came from his agent, who had some great news: the Cleveland Cavaliers wanted Blake for their summer league squad.
“It was good to get that call from my agent letting me know that the Cavs want to bring me in for their Summer League roster,” said Blake, who played at NIC in the 2015-16 season, then played at Idaho the last two seasons. “I didn’t even have a workout with them. It just shows, everybody is watching you when you get on this level. You just have to continue to work hard and believe in yourself. And that’s what I did.”
Blake got straight back to the gym after the season was over, fine-tuning his game in preparation for the fast-approaching summer. But when it came time to work out with NBA franchises, it wasn’t the Cavs that came calling.
“I only had one workout, with the Nuggets,” Blake said. “But I’m out in Houston, with my uncle training. He’s an overseas veteran and he has a lot of connections. I’ve been playing in the Houston Pro-Am out here. I don’t know how they found me. Coach Tim Murphy texted me, saying ‘hey, the Cavs called about you’ and just asking questions. I just thought that was amazing, because I didn’t even have a workout with them. You never know who’s watching you. You just have to continue to keep working and believe in the grind.”
Now, Blake gets set to hit the road and compete with the best of the best. He needs to prove his value, but is aware of the challenges that lie ahead.
“I just need to go to work, do what I do,” he said. “Obviously they like me for what I can do; being a great teammate, bringing that energy to the floor and having a high motor. I’m going to continue to do what I do and not step out of my realm and just have fun with this opportunity.”
The Cavs open summer league play Friday at Las Vegas vs. Washington at 6 p.m. (NBA).
“Growing up you watch a lot of the summer league and it’s just a platform for these guys. It’s like a job interview. You go out there, you’re under a microscope from all 30 teams in the NBA, and overseas as well. This is just a great opportunity to show what kind of character I have. If I don’t play that many minutes, how am I going to react to the team? Am I still going to bring that same energy? This is just a great opportunity. A lot of people don’t get this opportunity and I’m extremely blessed to see that my hard work has paid off. I’m just going to go have fun, not let any of the distractions get to me. I know we’re in Vegas but I respect the game of basketball and I know what comes with the game of basketball. I’m just going to go out there, have fun, practice my tail off, play hard and try to get a championship for the Cleveland Cavaliers summer league team.”