Tyler Sanborn doesn’t have the background that the other NBA prospects at Time Warner Cable Arena have.
The other five players (Marcus Ginyard, Trevon Hughes, Mac Koshwal, Chas McFarland and Edgar Sosa) attended historic basketball programs that include North Carolina, Wisconsin, DePaul, Wake Forest and Louisville.
Friday morning, Sanborn took the court with those players and displayed his talents for Charlotte Bobcats coach Larry Brown and his staff.
Sanborn, a 6-foot-10, 260-pound center, played at Guilford, a Division III college in Greensboro. He received player of the year honors from three different organizations in his final year and had three standout seasons.
During his senior season, he averaged 19.8 points, 14.1 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 33 games. He also had 30 double-doubles in his final year, and he led the Quakers to a 104-19 record over a four-year span, the most wins by a Division III team during that time.
Because of those accomplishments, he has begun to get some attention from NBA teams, and he is no longer a secret.
“I’m coming from a small place, but I’m getting the opportunity to show what I can do with a couple of teams (Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies),” he said. “I did all right, and I didn’t perform particularly well, but I held my own and competed with the rest of the guys.”
Sanborn said it was great working out for Brown, but he said it was different from his previous two workouts.
“He is the only coach that I know that has been in the workout the whole time,” he said.
Sanborn said it was also a great opportunity to play with Division I players and work out with teams he saw on television.
The North Carolina native said he is hopeful that a franchise will consider him for a roster spot on its summer league team. He said he prays for a chance to showcase his skills this summer.
Sanborn said he worked hard to develop into an elite player. As a freshman he was overweight and out of shape.
But he dedicated himself to a conditioning and weight lifting program during the 2007 summer, in addition to working on his basketball skills.
The hard work paid off. In his second season, he was the Quakers’ most improved player. By his senior season, he had become the best player at the Division III level.
He also grew a few more inches.
Moreover, Sanborn was able to hone his skills for two years because he regularly played against a good friend – former teammate Ben Strong, a two-time All-American who won player of the year in 2006-07 and currently plays in Israel.
“Going against him my first year, I was about 290 pounds about 6-7, so I transferred my body a lot,” he said. “When I came in I knew I was going to have to do different things to be able to play. He definitely helped me along with that.
“He took me to camp with him. Pete Newell Big Man Camp, I have been there the last few years. I learned a lot playing with him and talking to him.”