Two basketball players from north Fulton County are getting their chance to prove they belong in the NBA.
Within the past week, Kaiser Gates signed a training camp deal with the Chicago Bulls and Jaron Blossomgame inked a training camp contract with the San Antonio Spurs.
Gates and Blossomgame both grew up in Alpharetta. Gates played high school ball at St. Francis, while Blossomgame attended Chattahoochee High in Johns Creek.
Gates, 21, then played for three years in college at Xavier. Foregoing his senior year, he entered the NBA Draft a year early this past summer, but went unselected through 60 picks. The Bulls signed him to their summer league team, and liked enough of what they saw out of the 6-foot-8 forward to bring him aboard for the preseason training camp.
In the summer league, Gates played in three games with the Bulls, averaging 6.8 points and 1.7 rebounds per-game. Over three years at Xavier, Gates helped the Musketeers reach the NCAA tournament each season. As a senior, Gates averaged 7.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per-game while shooting 37 percent from behind the arc.
After graduating from Chattahoochee High School, Blossomgame, 25, went on to play for four years at Clemson University. He led the Tigers to two NIT tournament appearances and was twice an All-ACC selection. His junior season was arguably his best, when he shot 45 percent from three-point range and averaged 18.7 points and 6.7 rebounds per-game.
The Spurs drafted the 6-foot-7 guard with the 59th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, but assigned him to their G-League team in Austin. In 50 games with the Austin Spurs, Blossomgame averaged 16.5 points and 8.1 rebounds per-game. He was fourth in the G-League in two-point field goals made and helped lead the Austin Spurs to the G-League championship.
If both Blossomgame and Gates survive training camp cuts, they’ll see each other on Nov. 26 in Chicago, when the Bulls host the Spurs.
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