McALLEN – Back in high school, JJ Avila got a chance to play in an all-star game at State Farm Arena. Fast forward to today where Avila will be back on the same court, only this time as a pro in the NBA D-League.
Avila finished college at Colorado State with his sights set on pro basketball.
He went undrafted, then played with the Houston Rockets summer league team. After that, Avila packed his bags to play with a pro team in Belgium.
“It was a great experience over in Belgium,” says Avila. “It really tested my love for the game.”
The following season, Avila was back in the NBA summer league where he impressed scouts while playing for the New York Knicks.
That led to a chance to play in the NBA D-League with the Windy City Bulls.
“My decision to come to the D-League was a no brainer just because it’s one step towards the next level,” says Avila.
Months into the season, the Bulls traded Avila to the Texas Legends.
“It was a surprise I wasn’t expecting when it happened,” says Avila. “I heard this team was really wanting me and the rest is history. I’m trying to make the most of it.”
From Belgium to the summer league to the D-league, Avila says he’s enjoying the grind of a pro basketball player.
Right now, he’s just a call-up away from the NBA.
“Whatever they want me to do, I’m going to do it to the best of my abilities,” says Avila. “I just want to help the team win. I just try and go play hard and do all the little things.”
Avila tells CHANNEL 5 SPORTS, he’s looking forward to playing in front of family and friends against the Vipers Tuesday night.