Nelson Giant Finn Delany is on the verge of realising his NBA dream. We track him down to his new home, Dallas, Texas, where he is fast becoming a breakout star.
As he laid his head on his pillow night after night when he was a kid, Finn Delany often tossed and turned with thoughts dancing in his head of one day being an NBA player.
It didn’t matter that he grew up in Nelson, far away from the global basketball limelight.
Dreams of a career in the NBA for Finn were as common as lacing up a pair of sneakers.
Now, however, the Nelson Giant’s dreams are close to becoming a reality.
Finn is one of 14 players on the Dallas Mavericks’ summer league roster.
It’s the first time Finn, who turns 24 in August, has participated with any NBA summer league squad – an off season competition that aims to seek out new talent.
“Every other basketball player grows up dreaming about the NBA, so it’s a little bit surreal to be here and to be a little bit closer to that,” he says.
The 6’7” guard/forward says he is just taking it a day at a time.
“I’m just trying to play as hard as I can and just trying to not really focus on that, but focus on getting better, focus on the moment, making the most of the situation.”
Finn says the NBA plays differently to any other country.
“Every other country has their little intricacies how they play. I just want to learn how to play here the best I can, and be great in my role and just learn as much as I can.”
Summer league coach Mike Weinar said the best is yet to come from a player many believe can develop into becoming the breakout star of the summer for the Mavs.
“We’re looking to get him some more opportunities. Obviously, that’s a position that is very important, so we’re looking to get him some more reps and see what he can do.”
Mike has noticed Delany’s desire to soak up as much knowledge about the NBA as possible.
“Finn is certainly an experienced player for his age, he’s had a lot of international experience, and he has a good feel for the game.”
Mike hopes to see Finn become more assertive and step into his role.
“He’s his own player and we’re looking to develop his overall game.”
After Finn’s stint in the Maverick’s mini-camp, they were impressed with what they saw and invited him back for the summer league.
For Finn, it was as if the team had invited him to dinner so he could order his favourite entrée.
“The guys are great, the coaches are great, the staff here is amazing, the facility is amazing, I’m really happy to be here, grateful, and just trying to make the most of the opportunity.”
– Story with Dwain Price of Mavs.com