As September begins informal player scrimmages at the Furtado Center look to increase in both intensity and frequency with an influx of Sonics players from around the country.
Over the past two months Nick Collison, Luke Ridnour, and Robert Swift have been fixtureat the Furtado Center. Working alone or with coaches they have both drilled and played in games against a variety of competition. I know that Swift has also participated in Pro-Am games in the Rainier Beach area and attended by Seattle area basketball alumni such as Jason Terry, Jamal Crawford, Nate Robinson, and Donald Watts.
Begining tomorrow they will be joined by an increasing number of their teammates who will participate in voluntary scrimmages that have become a September fixture in Seattle. Tomorrow both Noel Felix and Mo Sene should be available to play. While I have not confirmed their arrival date I understand that next week will also see Ray Allen return from Conneticut, Rashard Lewis from Houston, and Earl Watson from LA. According to one source I spoke with Damien Wilkens may have arrived over the weekend.
I have always felt that having players reside in the communty over the summer, and train together in the offseason is extremely valuable and credited these workouts for our strong start two seasons ago. Last season projected starting center Robert Swift admittedly spent most of the summer at home in Bakersfield, CA and returned in poor shape to start the season. This year the 21 year old player spent nearly the entire summer with the Sonics coaching staff working on his game and conditioning. It will be interesting to see how he holds up during these scrimmages.
Unfortunately the regular media has done a poor job in covering these scrimmages and giving the hard core Sonics fans some news they can use during the slow summer months. SonicsCentral.com has requested, and expects to recieve permission to be in regular attendance at the workouts so we will let you know who is looking good going into the season.