ORLANDO, Fla. - In the typical Summer League role as the player trying to show what he can do, Jack Cooley has certainly done that for the Rockets.
Cooley has averaged 7.3 rebounds in three Summer League games. Undrafted out of Notre Dame, the post player has come in determined to make the most out of his opportunity.
“It’s probably the most important part of this process so far,” Cooley said. “After not getting drafted, you’ve got to do what you can to get exposure. To get such an opportunity by the Rockets, I’m very thankful for that and I get to go out there and show what I’ve got each and every single game and I think I’ve done a good job of that.”
Cooley's numbers have steadily improved, all with limited time off the bench. Against the 76ers on Sunday, he had six rebounds in just under 15 minutes. He had seven rebounds Tuesday in about 15 minutes against the Jazz. And Wednesday against the Celtics, Cooley had nine rebounds, including five on the offensive end, in just over 16 minutes.
“It’s fun and I’m here, finally,” Cooley said. “I’ve watched it all the time growing up, always thought of it, and it never kind of hit me that I’m going to play in it one day. And now the day’s come and, to see all the success I’m having in this league, after I’ve watched it for so long, it’s been really fun.”
Cooley knows that he's in a position where the Summer League is his time to shine, whether it be impressing the Rockets or other NBA teams. He came into Summer League with set goals in mind.
“Just show that I can be effective at this level,” Cooley said. “Both in terms of rebounding, I can be extremely effective. And I can also get some things done around the rim, and score some points and get guys open on the offensive end and I can help a team in a lot of ways.”
Apparently, the Grizzlies noticed Cooley's play. Later on Wednesday evening, Cooley tweeted the following:
Had a great time playing for the Houston Rockets n Im grateful for the opportunity. But Im just getting started, now its on to Vegas! #Grizz— Jack Ryan Cooley (@JackCooligan45) July 10, 2013