Former Montana Grizzly Will Cherry chasing NBA dream in Summer League

LAS VEGAS — A former Montana Grizzly basketball great keeps chasing his NBA dream. And now Will Cherry is back in the Summer League again.

The Oakland native is playing for the Detroit Pistons at the Las Vegas showcase event. Cherry is coming off the bench for a team that is a perfect 4-0 in the tournament. He averages about eight minutes of playing time per contest. In his best performance versus the Trail Blazers last Saturday he totaled six points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals. The Pistons will take on the Brooklyn Nets in the quarterfinals of the winners bracket on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Mountain Time.

The Summer League is mostly made up of young players just starting their pro careers. The 28-year-old Cherry is using it to take another shot at making the NBA. He played eight games for Cleveland in November of 2014.

Since then he has bounced around. Last season, Cherry turned a tryout with the Golden State Warriors into a contract with the Santa Cruz Warriors in the G-League. He started 29 of 46 games, averaging 9.1 points and 4.3 assists per contest. He also made a brief appearance with Olympiakos in Athens Greece late in the season, averaging 11 points and six rebounds in three games.

Cherry started 104 games for the Grizzlies from 2009-10 through 2012-13. He is the all-time leader in steals in program history with 265 thefts, also scoring 1,484 points in maroon and silver. Montana made three trips to the NCAA Tournament with Cherry playing point guard.

Derek Buerkle

Derek Buerkle

Derek has worked in sports at KPAX-TV in Missoula since 2007. He grew up in Big Timber, Montana, and attended the University of Montana journalism program.
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