After strong showing overseas, Abdul-Bassit eyes NBA G League

October 16, 2018
Jalil Abdul-Bassit basketball

Jalil Abdul-Bassit

After shining in the Pac-12 and getting some polish overseas, Anchorage’s Jalil Abdul-Bassit believes he’s ready for the NBA G League.

He’s got the game, but will his name be called in Saturday’s draft?

The 6-foot-4 guard is cautiously optimistic.

“I’ve heard from a few teams and had workouts with Philly and Brooklyn, but anything can happen with the draft,” he told me.

The former University of Oregon sharpshooter played briefly in the G League for the Idaho Stampede at the end of the 2016 season as an undrafted free agent. He retained his rookie eligibility because he played in only two games.

He is one of only three Alaskans to play in the G League.

Abdul-Bassit, of West High fame, also played professionally in Australia and Albania, where he built muscle, added to his offensive arsenal and gained confidence.

That’s scary considering was already a renowned shooter – he still ranks No. 2 on Oregon’s all-time 3-point percentage at .429.

He torched the QBL down under before going to Europe, where he took a major step up in competition.

“I worked on my body a lot over there,” he said. “I’m much bigger and stronger now than I was a year ago. But the biggest growth came from my mind. Playing and getting better at basketball is easy, but dealing with different cultures was the toughest thing mentally to get through.”

In Australia, he averaged 24.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists with the Toowoomba Mountaineers and twice reached the 40-point plateau with 43 and 41, and flirted with a triple-double in two of his three final games.

Jalil Abdul-Bassit

Abdul-Bassit played last season for Albania’s Sport Klub Tirana and averaged 12.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists in the Balkan League.

“Albania was a good experience for my growth as a person. I dealt with a lot of adversity being so far from home for so long,” he said. “Right off the back I had a cultural shock. First two weeks there I got sick. Everything was different. From the food, the people and basketball.

“It was an adjustment for sure but I believe it was something I needed to grow as a person, it made me so much stronger mentally.”

Now 25, Abdul-Bassit is ready to take the next step in his career.

He hopes it comes in the G League.

“It means the world to me,” he said.