SAN FRANCISCO, Ca (WHTM) — Fresh off of playing his fourth season overseas in Europe, Dustin Sleva’s phone rang with unexpected news.
“I get a call from my agent just saying that the (Golden State) Warriors are really interested in you. Would you accept playing with them in a Summer League? they are looking at a couple other guys and would bring you in. And I was like of course,” Sleva said.
It is the chance of a lifetime for the Shippensburg great. He spent that past four years playing for Paris Basketball in Betclic Elite, a professional basketball league in France. But the chance to play for an NBA team is something Sleva thought might never come.
“It feels amazing because I never thought I would have this opportunity coming from a small school like Shippensburg just continuing to advance in the way I play and my career,” Sleva said. “Just to be seen as a guy that they would potentially want to work out and bring on, I’m so thankful for it.”
But Sleva has earned this opportunity. He’s the all-time leader in points (2,071) and rebounds (1,140) in Shippensburg’s history.
With Paris basketball, the former Raider has averaged 11.0 points per game 4.7 rebounds, while consistently shooting 50-percent from the floor.
Sleva is only playing in the California Classic, a three-game tournament. So he has three opportunities to prove to Golden State that he belongs on their roster for the entire summer.
“I got one tournament and I’m going to make the most of my opportunities. I’m going to be in the gym, I’m going to work hard. I’m going to continue to do what I’ve been doing since I was in high school – before high school,” Sleva said. “I don’t know how many opportunities I’m going to get, but with the opportunities that i do get, I’m going to definitely do my best.”
But whatever happens, Sleva hopes this sets the bar for other Central PA hoopers.
“As I move on and play at higher levels, I would love to be an example for anyone that goes to ship or wants to go to ship that they can do it too,” he said.
Sleva made his Summer League debut with the Warriors on Sunday against the Los Angeles Lakers. He played 13 minutes and scored seven points (3-4 FG). He also showed his effectiveness on the defensive side of the ball, being only one of two GSW players not to go negative in plus-minus.
Golden State fell to the Lakers 100-77. The final game for the California Classic will be played on Tuesday against the Miami Heat. Sleva is hoping after to earn a full-time Summer League gig with the Warriors.
If not, he said he is still under contract with Paris Basketball and return overseas to focus on their next season.