A 61-year-old Las Vegas grandpa is training for the NBA. (FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) –
NBA Summer League is just around the corner and while fans are anxious to pack the Thomas and Mack to find a seat, one Las Vegas grandfather is training to find a roster spot with a team.
“I’m trying to get myself into shape, better than I ever have been before. I’m trying to get into the summer league,” 61-year-old Calvin Roberts said. “I want to go out against the best, the youngest. (That) makes me play better. I just have a goal I have to reach and I’m not going to let anything stand in my way to get there.”
Calvin is not the typical pro hoops hopeful. He’s been matched up against some of the best NBA players of all time, including Magic Johnson.
“Playing against him, I heard about him, it was just like ‘Wow, now we’re going to see what will make me or break me,” Roberts said. “That was the highlight of my career I think.”
The Spartans won that day and the video won’t show it but Roberts said in a battle of the number 33s, he came out on top.
“I did, I blocked his shot. I can say I blocked his shot.”
Two years later, Roberts was drafted in the 4th round, 83rd overall by San Antonio in the 1980 NBA Draft. During that summer, he spent time with the Spurs, Clippers and Hawks, but failed to crack any regular season roster.
“I just didn’t know what to expect when I came out of college.”
Roberts then set sail for overseas. He played 15 seasons of pro basketball for teams in Spain, Italy, Israel, Turkey, Istanbul, and even won a championship in Austria. After it seemed his playing days were done, Calvin returned to the states and started a family. He moved to Las Vegas in 2014 and said it’s where he’s found the fountain of youth.
“I saw some guys I think with my same talent.” “I’m in good shape, I still think I can do it. That drive was still in me and I said ‘I’m going to do it.'”
In January, Calvin started to train, lifting weights, living in the gym, but he didn’t stop there. Roberts sent letters to eight different teams around league.
“I reached out to teams (where) I thought I could make a difference, I could fit in. Going to a team like Golden State, kind of full right now.”
He said living in Las Vegas, he knows the deck is stacked against him and he’s a long shot, but that won’t stop him from continuing to take his shots.
“I know I’m getting older, I know that. I’m not saying I’m not thinking of that, but I just feel in my body and my heart, I’m still in good shape. And as long as there is an NBA team out there that may be interested, I’m going to keep pushing the issue. I’m going to keep driving myself to where I’m going to make an impression on somebody that may give me a shot or come practice with them, but I’m not giving up.”
Copyright 2017 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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