How many times does a “small ball” college kid try to make his hoop dream come true? For this Pensacola Christian College alum, it’s one more time.
This is his turn.
This is Dylan Crane’s story.
York, Pennsylvania – I started playing basketball at the age of three years old. Ever since I was little, my desire was to play in the NBA. I never played AAU basketball. I never had a trainer. I just watched and studied film of games and players countlessly and just worked harder than anyone else.
In high school at Temple Baptist in Herndon, Virginia, I averaged 36 points per game and had opportunities to go play Division I basketball through several preferred walk on positions, but I chose a cheaper route and played NAIA ball in Florida at Pensacola Christian College where I averaged 12 points through 3 years after being redshirted my first year. Throughout my whole life I was told there is no way you can make it to play professionally. I’ve been rejected over 100 times.
No one wants to help a small ball college kid.
After college, I got my first opportunity to play professionally in the Premier Basketball League (PBL) with the Washington Warhawks, where I averaged 28 points per game and then after a successful season ended up going to take an opportunity with John Lucas and the Houston Rockets with an invite to the 2017 NBA Summer League. While waiting on the chance to pursue a path to the NBA, I ended up starting a training business called 24/7 Basketball. It became very successful and ended up training over 100 kidswithin two months and making it my full time job. Thankfully, I’ve been training full time now for 6 years. I ended up retiring from basketball at 25 years old and decided to pursue golf. I never played golf before but I ended up turning pro within two years. After getting burned out on golf, I returned to basketball.
I went to workout with some of my pro and NBA clients and after the workout I realized that I still had it.
I then began the pursuit to try to play overseas first, then the NBA G League, then the NBA. After a lot of rejections I found an opportunity in the ECBL, where I did the best I could and averaged 11 points per game. After the season, I connected with several NBA personnel, specifically with the Washington Wizards. The Wizards brought me in for two workouts and asked me to go overseas and create a little resume then come back. I then went to Summer League workouts and connected with a lot of General Managers and players. I went to every open NBA G LEague tryout I could: the Windy City Bulls, Sioux Falls Skyforce, and the Greensboro Swarm. The hard work paid off when I was named to the top ten players for the Sky Force workout.
Unfortunately, after having a great tryout I ended up not getting picked for the training camp roster.
That led me to call every NBA agent I possibly could find. Luckily I found one person that helped get me going in the right direction – Kim Davis.
From her connections, I signed in Australia to play on a tour with several NBL1 teams in Melbourne. After a successful tour of averaging 16 points per game, I received an offer from a Big V Division 2 in Victoria, but furthermore declined the offer after not seeing how it could help me make the G League. That’s when I began calling TBL teams while waiting for other overseas offers. It resulted in a training camp invite from the York Mighty Ants which later turned into a contract offer.
Now, my journey and desire to play in the NBA G League continues.
My message through it all: anything is possible. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
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Wendell Maxey is the author of Around The Basketball League and has written about professional basketball and sports for 20 years. He’s been featured on NBA.com, ESPN.com, USA Today, FOX Sports, and SLAM Magazine among other publications and media outlets. You can connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn or read through his archive on Linktree.