Bell-Holter to play in NBA Summer League w/ D-League team

July 8, 2014

Damen Bell HoltereDamen Bell-Holter is going to Vegas hoping to cash in. Unlike most tourists, though, he’s looking to score big on the basketball court.

The 24-year-old from Hydaburg has been named to the NBA D-League squad that will participate in this year’s NBA Summer League stop in Las Vegas from July 11 to 21.

The 6-foot-9 forward is coming off a productive rookie season with the Maine Red Claws, an affiliate with the Boston Celtics. He spent training camp with the Celtics during the preseason before being shipped to the development league.

Last season he started 16 of 48 games with the Red Claws and averaged 8.6 points and 4.6 rebounds. His season highs were 24 points and 16 rebounds.

Bell-Holter believes a strong showing at the summer league could propel him back to Celtics training camp, or maybe help him gain traction with a Euroleague team.

He won’t be the only person playing for a contract.

“All these guys are in my situation,” he told me. “It’s real competitive. Guys are real hungry because they are playing for something.”

The Vegas summer league is no day at the slots. There could be a serious payout at the end.

“This is a great opportunity to get eyes on you,” Bell-Holter said.

He expects the games to be high scoring and feature lots of run-and-gun action, but he will remain focused on what makes him successful: playing defense, grabbing rebounds and hitting pick-and-pop jumpers.

He will get to know his new teammates on the court, adjusting on the fly. He’s used to it. If he learned anything as a rookie in the D-League, it’s to expect the unexpected.

Bell-Holter prides himself on acting like a professional on and off the court, something he learned during his time with the Celtics. Teams are keen to every move, especially body language. He has learned to keep an even balance.

“I was fortunate enough when I was with Boston to hang out with veterans like Kris Humphries and Brandon Bass, guys I still keep in contact with,” he said. “I got to be around them and it was good because they showed me how to be a pro.”