Add Bell-Holter to camp list
When the Boston Celtics call, you drop everything.
Just ask Hydaburg’s Damen Bell-Holter, who was in Germany about to begin his professional basketball career when the NBA team called his agent and invited the former Oral Roberts University star to training camp next month.
“My agent said I was on their list of guys they wanted to bring in,” Bell-Holter told me. “It’s really exciting. It’s a huge opportunity that doesn’t come around very often. Just that they knew my name is pretty cool.”
Bell-Holter, 22, was going to play in Italy before the team pulled its offer and he landed with a different team in Germany. Then the Celtics called and made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. Playing in the NBA is every player’s dream.
“This is what I want to do,” he said.
The 6-foot-10, 250-pound forward grew up rooting for the Celtics because Kevin Garnett is one of his favorite players. Garnett is no longer with the team, so there is an open spot at power forward. Bell-Holter would like nothing more than to fill it.
“Growing up, KG was my guy,” he said. “Even though he’s not there, going to training camp with a bunch of guys I’ve watched on TV is still really cool.”
Bell-Holter averaged a career-best 15.5 points and 9.4 rebounds last season at Oral Roberts. Other highlights included him scoring career-high 35 points and becoming the NCAA’s first 20-20 man, with 20 points and 20 rebounds in the same game.
He is the best big man from Alaska since Carlos Boozer.
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For what it's worth, Synergy data reflects well on Bell-Holter, who averaged a robust 1.004 points per play last season at Oral Roberts, ranking him in the 87th percentile among all Division 1 hoopsters. More than half (53.4 percent) of his possessions came in the post, but he also thrived on putbacks and transition opportunities. Defensively, he ranked well, too, allowing a mere 0.698 points per play, which ranked in the 80th percentile.
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