INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Indiana native Jake Odum has dreamed of playing in the NBA for as long as he can remember who grew up idolizing the likes of John Stockton and Steve Nash. Now in a matter of weeks, Odum could be playing for one of those teams.
“It’d be a dream come true,” said Odum. “To be able to support your family, help them through the times…to finally realize that dream, that’s something that every ball player wants.”
He’s already visited seven NBA teams for workouts including Utah, Sacramento, New York, Toronto, Detroit, Orlando and Memphis. Odum told us he’ll work out for the Pacers on Thursday.
Preparing for those workouts is a long, arduous process; one that begins in Indianapolis with St. Vincent Sports Performance’s pre-NBA draft program. They train six to seven days a week, starting with strength training in the morning, followed by on the court workouts in the afternoon. The skills portion is led by former Purdue player Chris Thomas, who has worked with the likes of Kobe Bryant.
“It’s meant to be pretty intense,” said Thomas. “It’s meant to be almost impossible, so that the team workouts are, I wouldn’t say laughable, but survivable.”
“It’s a lot of hard work,” added Odum. “People don’t really realize, but it’s a grind. You’re 8 hours a day in the gym or in the weight room, maintaining your body and getting ready for each workout you have that that you have the opportunity to get in front of some NBA guys.”
Making an NBA roster will be an uphill battle for Odum, but Thomas thinks he has a real shot.
“He can play basketball,” said Thomas. “He’s a better shooter than a lot of people give him, a little more athletic than people know, and he competes. At the end of the day, if you can compete and makes shots, that’s the NBA.”
The NBA draft is on June 26.