Kennedy Chandler has been doing a lot of listening lately while preparing for the NBA draft that will play a role in his professional future as a basketball player.
For Chandler, a point guard who played one year at Tennessee and then declared his eligibility for the draft, those he trusted recommended taking a path that has included Sanford Sports.
While Chandler would certainly qualify as “elite” in terms of his ability and aspirations, it’s important to note that his work at the complex is available to anyone hoping to improve as a basketball player.
“The people in my circle and my agent told me this was the best thing for me,” Chandler said. “I got everything checked out today — I made sure everything is OK and my body is straight. I had no injuries, but if I did I would have learned what I can do to heal up.”
NBA draft bound
As a client of Rep 1 Sports, Chandler came to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in preparation for the process that precedes the NBA draft on June 23. After his day at the Complex, he continued on to the 10,000 square-foot Sanford POWER location in Irvine, California, for comprehensive workouts and skill development for more than a month.
Similar to Rep 1 athletes who prepared at Sanford POWER for the NFL draft — a record 11 clients were selected this year — Chandler, TyTy Washington, Terrell Brown Jr. and Max Christie have been involved in several opportunities to show pro teams what they can do. For Washington, Chandler and Christie that included the NBA combine in Chicago.
At Sanford POWER, that presents an interesting challenge. The college season ends in March and the NBA draft is in June. That’s not a very big window, though in this case it’s clear the staff and the athletes have made the most of it.
Where Sanford POWER helps
“You look at the amount of time you’re allocated with them and find ways you can make an impact,” said Curt Truhe, general manager of the Sanford POWER Irvine location. “These guys were high-minute guys in college — they’re on the court a lot and their bodies are probably beat down a little bit after the season. We have to ask ourselves: Where can we help them improve the most from a recovery standpoint?”
That includes training that targets injury prevention, something that is specific to individual athletes. Minimizing susceptibility to injuries is not necessarily a one-size-fits-all situation.
“When they’re working out for NBA teams, how do we make sure they’re smooth, they look athletic and they look healthy?” Truhe said. “That’s what we’re after. Plus, how can we help them in areas that are going to make their games better?”
Prospects for POWER athletes
Chandler, who is listed at 6’1”, 170 pounds, wants to get stronger. It sounds simple but doing it the right way is something where he will benefit from the Sanford expertise he has surrounded himself with in Irvine.
NBAdraft.net says of Chandler: “A lightning quick guard who improved dramatically throughout his freshman season at Tennessee … Creates a ton of space for himself on the drive with a lightning fast first step and great speed when he gets downhill.”
“Working with these people is going to help because they know what they’re doing,” Chandler said of his time with Sanford POWER. “They’re getting me prepared for what I’m going to see in the NBA – just getting a feel for what I’m going to see at the next level. Working out in Irvine has been about getting better every single day.”
Washington, 6’3”, 197 pounds, is likely a first-round selection after averaging 12.5 points a game in his one season at Kentucky. NBAdraft.net says: “His ability to create offense for both himself and his teammates while limiting turnovers bodes well for his long-term future.”
Brown, 6’3”, 185 pounds, averaged 21.7 points a game for the Washington Huskies last season, leading the Pac-12 in scoring and steals (2.2 per game) while earning first-team all-conference honors.
Christie, 6’5”, 190 pounds, was a five-star recruit for Michigan State who averaged 9.3 points in his one season with the Spartans.
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