Congratulations to Siena basketball star and current NBA training camp invitee Tommy Mitchell

For those of you who might not know this, I have been working for two professional basketball leagues this season.  And I always keep an eye on anyone who played in our area – either for Siena or for UAlbany or for the Albany Patroons – and I can see how they’re doing in the other professional leagues or, if all goes well, the NBA.

Well, now that the NBA has started training camp, two players from one of the leagues I currently work for, the National Basketball League of Canada, have been invited to NBA training camps.  One of the players is Will Blalock, who averaged 11.7 points per game for the Saint John (N.B.) Mill Rats, is now in training camp with the Charlotte Bobcats.

Tommy Mitchell at the free throw line for the Quebec Kebs in the 2011-12 NBL Canada season. Photo by Chuck Miller.

The other player is former Siena player Tommy Mitchell, who is on the training camp roster for the Golden State Warriors.

While I never saw Mitchell play for Siena during his 2001-05 enrollment, I have seen him suit up and play for two Premier Basketball League teams – the 2007-08 Manchester (N.H.) Millrats, where he helped earn his team a regular season division title; and then last year for the Quebec Kebs, where he got the Kebs within an eyelash of the PBL finals.

When the Kebs moved to NBL Canada, so did Tommy, and he’s been a star for Quebec ever since.  In 12 games this season, Mitchell has averaged 11.7 points per game, and he also has a blistering 90% free throw rate (57 for 63).

Of course, when the NBA said they were starting up again, that meant they needed fresh talent to get in the training camps and start warming up.  And this could mean that Tommy Mitchell could become the first Saint to do what Billy Harrell and Marc Brown and Kenny Hasbrouck could not do…

He could become the first Siena Saint to actually play in an NBA game.

And how cool is that?