Memphis Hustle familiarize and live up to nickname in first official practice

By George Fadel | October 24, 2017

After day one of the Memphis Hustle’s training camp, it’s clear the team’s goal is to live up to its moniker.

The coaching staff ran the newest – and some familiar – faces in the Mid-South hoops scene through drills at the Built Ford Tough Training Facility that involved diving after loose balls, taking charges and finishing at the rim with contact.

Hustle coach Glynn Cyprien wanted a measuring stick to gauge his team’s intensity and toughness from the outset.

“I want to see where we are physically and condition-wise,” said Cyprien. “Obviously, I haven’t seen most of these guys. Some of them we just drafted, so I wanted to get a feel for where they are. We’re going to get up and down a little bit and we’re going to be real basic.”

The first day of practice was also a chance for players to get acclimated with their teammates, both on and off the court. Most of the roster wasn’t assembled until last Saturday’s NBA G League draft, so there’s plenty for the Hustle to sort through over the next few days of work.

“This is kind of like a first get-together, kind of a way get to know the guys a little better and their playing styles,” said Hustle forward and Memphis native Austin Nichols. “(We) just want to get used to playing and we’re pretty excited to be out here.”

Grizzlies and Hustle two-way player Vince Hunter participated in the team’s first practice while rookie two-way player Kobi Simmons is with the Grizzlies on their trip that wraps up Wednesday in Dallas. During his preseason time with the Grizzlies, Simmons averaged 7.8 points and shot 60.0 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range in four games. Hunter, an initial NBA G League All-Star selection in 2016, averaged 4.0 points and 3.5 rebounds in two preseason games with the Grizzlies.

The 2017 Hustle Training Camp, presented by Select Physical Therapy, continues with practice Wednesday as the team prepares for its Oct. 30 preseason matchup against the Lakeland Magic at RP Funding Center in Lakeland, Fla.

Fans will have two opportunities to catch the Hustle on opening weekend at Landers Center, starting with the inaugural regular-season home opener against the Sioux Falls Skyforce on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. The Hustle will then take on the Salt Lake City Stars on Sunday, Nov. 5 at 5 p.m.

Single game tickets are now available for all Hustle games here.