An opportunity to punch his ticket into the NBA awaits LaRon Dendy.
But before he could report for the Washington Wizards in the NBA Summer League next week in Las Vegas, Dendy had to swing by Murfreesboro and Middle Tennessee State on Thursday to collect a significant piece of jewelry — his Sun Belt Conference championship ring.
“It makes me think about what we accomplished this year,” Dendy said. “I’m proud of showing off my ring to everyone in DC and Vegas. I have to let them know what I’m coming to do.”
The former MTSU standout and 2012 Sun Belt Player of the Year signed a deal with the Wizards’ summer league team earlier this week. The Wizards are one of 24 teams competing in the summer league, which runs from July 13-22 on the campus of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.
If all goes well, the 6-foot-9, 230-pound forward could be invited to training camp in September.
“I have to be well-prepared to go against these top players,” Dendy said. “It feels really good. When you get a chance to show your skill one more time and to get to do it on the big stage, it’s really amazing.”
While Dendy knows where he’ll be next week, two former Vanderbilt standouts have yet to hear back from NBA summer league teams.
Lance Goulbourne, a 6-foot-8, 225-pound forward, said last week he had two offers, including one from the Denver Nuggets. On Thursday morning, however, Goulbourne said nothing had been confirmed by his agent. Goulbourne averaged 6.1 points during four years with the Commodores and finished just outside the top 10 on Vanderbilt’s all-time rebounding chart with 623 career boards.
Former teammate Steve Tchiengang, a 6-foot-9 forward who has been hovering around 250 pounds, is also still waiting for the phone to ring. He said via text message that he was “still waiting on some promises.” Tchiengang, a native of Cameroon, averaged 3.8 points at Vanderbilt.