After Whirlwind Time at St. John’s, Orlando Sanchez Looking to Open NBA’s Eyes

Orlando SanchezBy JOSH NEWMAN
Special to ZAGSBLOG

NEW YORK – Orlando Sanchez may have played just one season at St. John’s, but it took a lot of doing just to get him on the floor.

A 6-foot-9, 230-pound native of the Dominican Republic, Sanchez and Monroe (N.Y.) College teammate Marco Bourgault committed to head coach Steve Lavin in April 2012. Eligibility issues soon arose, partly because Sanchez was trying to become a first-year player at the age of 24, but then because he logged time with the Dominican Republic National Team in 2010.

Thanks in part to the support of legal counsel in the fight against the NCAA, Sanchez gained one year of eligibility in 2013-14, when he averaged 7.4 points and 5.6 rebounds for the 20-13 Red Storm.

With all of that behind him and with a productive season in the books, Sanchez is now trying to make the leap to the professional level, whether it be the NBA or otherwise.

“If I go to the NBA, I can play different positions, I can fill a role no matter where I am on the floor,” Sanchez told SNY.tv at the RBA Showcase on Sunday afternoon at Basketball City. “All the time at St. John’s, I was playing in different spots. I think I proved I was coachable and showed I was comfortable no matter where I was on the floor.”

Sanchez has already worked out for the Sacramento Kings and Philadelphia 76ers, while his agent told SNY.tv he is scheduled to work out for the Indiana Pacers on June 20, six days ahead of the NBA Draft. In between, thanks to his Dominican Republic roots, he will participate at the adidas EUROCAMP from June 7-9 in Treviso, Italy.

The trip to Italy will be a big one as the 30-player event is the only NBA-sanctioned pre-draft camp outside of the United States. Unlike the vast majority of pre-draft workouts, including the NBA Draft Combine, adidas EUROCAMP has 5-on-5 each day.

“At the end of the day, I just want to play basketball,” said Sanchez, who spent time in Spain as a teenager and noted he would be open to playing overseas if the NBA doesn’t work out right away. “Basketball has given me the opportunity to do a lot of great things in my life and I just want to continue to play.”

“These teams, they know how I play and I feel like I’ve played well so far for the NBA teams. It was all good feedback. I can do a little bit of everything and they know that.”

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