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Drew Ellis covers Oakland University basketball for The Oakland Press. His news and notes keep you up to date with Golden Grizzlies men's basketball.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Former Oakland center Keith Benson's Vegas is showing

After last year's NBA lockout stunted former Oakland center Keith Benson's growth as a professional, he's ready to make an impact this season.
Benson started Friday for the Atlanta Hawks in his NBA Summer League debut, scoring 19 points in as many minutes on 9-of-12 shooting, adding six rebounds. He tied first round pick John Jenkins for team-high scoring honors.
Benson told the Atlanta Journal Constitution this week he had improved his strength and was going to be more aggressive. That cold be seen Friday, as Benson threw down consecutive dunks, as the Hawks extended their lead over the Wizards.
"I think I have a good chance (now) to show what I can do and show my skills for a longer period of time," he said to the AJC.
Benson was cut during an abbreviated preseason following the lockout by the Hawks, who drafted him No. 48 last year, making Benson the first Oakland player to be drafted. He had played briefly in France during the lockout and found his way tot he NBA Developmental League before making his NBA debut for the Golden State Warriors late last season.
Benson was also recently at an NBADL elite camp and a Cleveland Cavaliers minicamp, which followed the late-June draft. 
The Hawks released Benson to make room for a veteran roster, but new general manager Danny Ferry reportedly wants to go young, focusing on polishing young talent, which could work in Benson's favor.
The Hawks take Saturday off, before returning Sunday at 8 p.m. EST to face the Spurs.

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