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Rams Round-up: Former CSU ballers work out with NBA teams

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June 3, 2015

Colorado State men’s basketball has enjoyed superb success over the last few years and now two of the young men who helped the squad excel have the chance to impress NBA teams.

J.J. Avila and Daniel Bejarano, two of the Rams “big three” from 2013-2015, are experiencing opportunities to show off their skills to NBA teams this week and last.

For Bejarano, it was a workout with the Denver Nuggets last week and the Phoenix Suns today. Bejarano grew up in Phoenix and Denver is only an hour south of where he played college ball in Fort Collins, so playing in either locale would bring familiarity.

The 6’4” guard evolved from shoot-fist to team-first over the last three years in CSU’s green and gold. He morphed from a shooting guard to a backcourt player that can do anything the coaches ask; dribble the ball, pass, score, rebound or defend. Bejarano’s an all-around talent and no doubt that effortless shooting from everywhere on the court has caught NBA teams’ eyes. Bejarano scored 16.3 points per game while grabbing a team-high 8.3 rebounds per as a senior.

The 6’8” Avila is currently in New York as he prepares to work out for the Knicks tomorrow, then he’ll head to Philadelphia to visit with the 76ers at the end of the week. Avila is a dynamic threat; he possesses low-post presence as well as a deft deep shooting touch. He loves spinning in the lane and tossing floaters through the rim, but isn’t afraid to pull the trigger on a jumper, especially when he’s set.

While he led the team with 16.7 points and was just behind Bejarano with 7.5 boards per contest, Avila was without a doubt the Rams best passer. He’s quick and understands how to set up teammates for easy buckets.

For both Bejarano and Avila, the road to these workouts has been long and arduous. Bejarano transferred from Arizona to CSU, sat a year and then played his heart out the last three. He was stubborn at first but then embraced Larry Eustachy’s coaching, realizing his potential, developing into a leader. Avila played at Navy for a year before going to a junior college in Texas and finding Colorado State.

Now, both of them have a chance to live their dreams in the NBA.


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