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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Recent draftees Chet Holmgren, Andrew Nembhard lead four-man Gonzaga contingent at NBA Summer League

July 6, 2022 Updated Wed., July 6, 2022 at 7:48 p.m.

Gonzaga’s representation at NBA Summer League won’t be what it’s been in the past, but there should still be plenty of eyeballs focused on the collection of former Bulldogs – one in particular – playing in Las Vegas over the next 10 days.

Coming off two productive outings for the Oklahoma City Thunder at Salt Lake Summer League, Chet Holmgren could garner the most attention of any player at the Vegas showcase, but fellow draftee and former college teammate Andrew Nembhard will be the first Zag on the court in the Sin City when his Indiana Pacers face the Charlotte Hornets at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Holmgren and Nembhard join two other former Bulldogs, Joel Ayayi and Filip Petrusev, at the 10-day showcase held at two venues on UNLV’s campus.

Less than three weeks removed from becoming the highest draft pick in Gonzaga history, Holmgren will continue to test himself against top draftees when Oklahoma City faces Houston and Auburn’s Jabari Smith, the player who was selected immediately after Holmgren last month at the Barclays Center.

The action will tip off at 5 p.m. at the Thomas & Mack Center and air on ESPN2.

Holmgren and fellow rookies Jalen Williams, Jaylin Williams and Ousmane Dieng initially weren’t expected to make their summer league debuts until the team arrived in Vegas, but all three suited up for Tuesday’s 98-77 win over the Utah Jazz.

Holmgren scored 23 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the 3-point line, grabbed seven rebounds and set a summer league record with six blocked shots. He became the first player in summer league history to block more than five shots and connect on four 3s, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

In Oklahoma City’s 87-71 victory over Memphis, Holmgren registered 11 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and two blocks in about 26 minutes. He was 3 of 11 from the field after going 0 of 7 in the second half.

Presuming both play, Holmgren will match up with No. 1 pick and Seattle native Paolo Banchero for the second time in eight months in OKC’s second summer league game, versus the Orlando Magic on Monday at 6 p.m. (ESPN) at the Thomas & Mack Center.

The Thunder face Sacramento on July 13 at 5 p.m. (NBATV) at the Thomas & Mack Center before closing out the nonplayoff portion of summer league play against Golden State on July 15 at 4 p.m. (ESPN) at Thomas & Mack.

Petrusev returned for his second summer league stint with the Philadelphia 76ers. After selecting him with the 50th overall pick of the 2021 NBA draft, the Sixers viewed Petrusev as a future asset and sent the Serbian big man overseas for the 2021-22 season.

Petrusev averaged 15.2 points and 6.2 rebounds for the Anadolu Efes of the Turkish Super League.

Petrusev didn’t play in Philadelphia’s opening Salt Lake summer league games and could have a chance to make his debut in Las Vegas on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. (NBATV) against Toronto at Cox Pavilion.

Ayayi will be donning his third NBA uniform when the former Gonzaga guard and the Atlanta Hawks open their summer league campaign at 4:30 p.m. (NBATV) Saturday against the Utah Jazz.

The Frenchman agreed to a two-way contract with the Los Angeles Lakers after going undrafted in 2021, then represented the club at summer league. Ayayi was waived by Los Angeles but signed a two-way deal with the Washington Wizards on Oct. 17, splitting time between the NBA team – which also featured ex-Zags Rui Hachimura and Corey Kispert – and its NBA G League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go.

Kispert was eligible to play for Washington’s summer league squad but was held out after playing in 77 of 82 games for the Wizards as a rookie.

Still recovering from surgery that came from a stress fracture in his right ankle, former Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs wasn’t cleared to join the Orlando Magic for summer league.

Washington State’s Robert Franks, who plays professionally in Australia for the Adelaide 36ers, will suit up for the Boston Celtics in Las Vegas.

Idaho’s Perrion Callandret will join up with the Chicago Bulls for after playing for the NBA G League’s Windy City Bulls last season.

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