The summer season has begun with a silly start.
University of Pittsburgh forward Sam Young was hurt as the Raptors
held their first round of pre-draft workouts at Air Canada Centre.
Young, a highly-regarded six-foot-six prospect, was hurt when the team was measuring his vertical jump.
"It was a freakish start," said Raptors
director of player personnel Jim Kelly. "He was up jumping and off balance and he ran into the pole. He cut his arm. They took him the emergency room."
The loss of Young meant the club could not work out Terrence Williams, a six-foot-six forward from Louisville because those two were to compete head-to-head.
"Those are two guys who are thought of highly in the draft process so we'll bring them back tomorrow," Kelly said.
The club did work out guard Byron Eaton from Oklahoma State, Boston College point guard Tyrese Rice and forwards Jeff Pendergraph from Arizona State and Niagara Falls prospect Russell Hicks.
The workout was the first in what will be a grueling six weeks leading up to the NBA draft on June 25.
"I didn't know what to expect and the first thing that happened is a guy got his arm stuck in the thing (measuring device)," Pendergraph said. "I thought, 'this is going to be a long one.'"
Pendergraph, an engaging athlete whose big hobby is keeping three snakes and a dog in his Arizona home, understands the Gong Show element of the workouts. The further down the line a prospect finds himself, the greater he must perform at workouts.
"You are your own corporation," he said. "You have to sell yourself. You are marketing a product and you want to present it as well as you can."
Rice, a high scoring point, said he is preparing himself for the final drive.
"I'm going to try to make a push for the first round," he said. "I really want in because once I get in, I'm going to work for whatever I earn. I just want in."
"You can use these workouts to make yourself better," said Rice. "They could watch you here, maybe they don't want you, but four or five years go by and if you improve, maybe those same people will remember and want you."