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NAZ Suns Host Second and Final Open Tryout for Inaugural Team
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09 October 2016  

Wannabe Suns players attended the NAZ Suns tryouts in Prescott Valley on Saturday.

PRESCOTT VALLEY- Around sixty hopeful players were inside the Prescott Valley Event Center on a rainy Saturday as the new Northern Arizona Suns hosted their second and final open tryout for the 2016-2017 inaugural season.

Players came from all over the country with some swinging over to the stadium from their home in Prescott Valley, while others traveled great distances from places like Atlanta, Georgia or as far north as Fairbanks, Alaska.

Clayton Edwin traveled over 3,000 miles through plane and car from Alaska to follow his dream. Having participated in other tryouts in the past, he was pleased with the quality and structure of the event.

“I really respected the organization for their professionalism,” Edwin said. “This tryout was very high class and organized and that’s what tryouts need to be like.”

The day started with a number of players going through pick-up games and drills before some of the group were cut down after lunch. Edwin was part of the group that made the cut to stay in the second round of tryouts, which included a few more pickup games.

First-time head coach Tyrone Ellis said on Saturday he was pleased with the turnout of the tryout and looked for players to match the Phoenix Suns’, and coach Earl Watsons’, type of defensive-minded up-tempo offensive scheme as well as those who have the character that align with the city and team.

“Guys with high character,” Ellis said. “Guys who understand that we are part of Prescott Valley and we have to represent the Suns organization in a positive way.”

Just before the cuts after lunch, Ellis gave a speech to all players who attended and urged those who were going to be cut that they needed to keep fighting.

“If you’re part of this business you will have your ups and downs but only the strong survive,” Ellis said. “If you’re able to understand why then you can get better, you can embrace the journey, embrace the process.”

Edwin felt confident with his tryout and hopes to get the call.

“That feeling would be like God is rewarding me for believing in him and sacrificing things for him, for his life, the way he wants us to live,” Edwin said. “I got a lot of people praying back home so… it would help a lot of people that go to that church.”

Once the players on the team are decided, the squad will hit the court for the first time on Saturday November 12th as they welcome in the Iowa Energy for a 7pm tip-off.