April 14, 2009
Read Aminu’s comments on his experience below
ATLANTA – Hoping to gain a boost in his NBA prospects as former teammate Anthony Morrow did last year, Georgia Tech’s Alade Aminu was named to the 2009 Portsmouth Invitational All-Tournament team this past weekend as he helped his Norfolk Naval Shipyard team to a 3-0 record and the tournament title.
In three games in the showcase for 64 college seniors, Aminu averaged 16.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocked shots while shooting 54.1 percent from the field. Tech has nine players active in the NBA this year, and Aminu is bidding to join the list.
Aminu, a 6-10 forward from Stone Mountain, Ga., scored a game-high 21 points with six rebounds and five blocked shots in the championship game win over Sales Systems LTD. He notched double-doubles in each of his other two games, 14 points and 11 rebounds against Portsmouth Sports Club in the first round, and 13 points and 10 boards against Cherry Bakeart & Holland in the semifinals.
Aminu was one of 13 players named to the all-tournament team joining A. J. Abrams (Texas), Jimmy Baron (Rhode Island), Jon Brockman (Washington), Paul Delaney III (UAB), Wes Matthews (Marquette), B.J. Raymond (Xavier), Alex Ruoff (West Virginia), Garret Siler (Augusta State), Jermaine Tayler (Central Florida), A.D. Vassallo (Virginia Tech), Gary Wilkinson (Utah State), and DeMarre Carroll of Missouri who was named the tournament¹s MVP.
Aminu averaged 11.8 points and 8.0 rebounds as a senior at Tech in 2008-09, ranking seventh in the ACC in rebounding and fifth in field goal percentage (52.2 pct.). He finished his Yellow Jacket career with 105 blocked shots to rank among Tech’s all-time top 10.
Tech senior Lewis Clinch also played at Portsmouth, averaging 9.7 points while shooting 31 percent from the floor. He has 14 assists against just eight turnovers.
Morrow, who finished his career at Tech in 2008, played in the PIT last year and eventually signed a free agent contract with the Golden State Warriors, with whom he is averaging 9.7 points and making 47.2 percent of his three-point field goals, ranking among the NBA leaders.
Alade Aminu talks about his experience in Portsmouth
“When I first got there, we had a driver pick us up and take us to the hotel. The service we had was very nice. We had great good while we were there. Had a crab cake sandwich every day I was there. I didn’t play the first day, so I got to watch Lewis (Clinch) play. He showed off his athleticism and showed some good parts of his game. He didn’t shoot well, but he did some other things well. There were a lot of scouts and agents there, which was very exciting. It was great to know that I could get a lot of exposure there. I always felt like I was under the radar.”
“On the second day, we got measured, and I got a chance to play in the late night game (9 p.m. on Thursday, April 9). This was my time to show what I could do. I was able to post a double-double, and we won the game. It felt really good to win and play well at the same time. At the restaurant after the game, we were sitting next to the Lakers’ front office people, and I got to meet them and let them know about me.
“On day three, we had an afternoon practice, like an NBA shootaround, just getting shots up. Then we had another 9 o’clock game. It was a bigger game because the other team had Jon Brockman (from the University of Washington), who is bigger and more physical. I came out and was able to play well again, with another double-double, and we won the game again, which was great. I played my game and had a lot of fun.
“The championship game was Saturday, and by this time, the legs get a little tired with three days in a row, and I had to work hard to run the floor well. I felt like we had to win the championship game to make a good impression, and I wanted to win the game and win a championship. It was another showtime game against another 2-0 team. My legs were a little tired, but I got my wind and played well again. And more importantly, we won the championship. People said I should have won the MVP, but we got the win, and I made the all-tournament team. Winning the championship trophy was a great feeling.
“I wanted to go in there, play well, win the championship and impress people, and I felt like I did all three. I got good feedback from the Spurs. The scout for them liked me, my ability to run the floor and block shots was good. The Utah Jazz liked the Brotherhood of the World thing I’m involved with, and was very interested in me as a person.
“Next, I hope to be invited to Chicago, I’m in the gym working out every day. I’ve got somebody working me out and making sure I get prepared. I just need to work hard, stay humble and stay hungry. I need to finish this semester strong. I’m on pace to graduate in the fall, I’ve turned in my petition to graduate then. I need about five classes, and I’ll have my degree from Tech.”