While the numbers may not be remembered and the results chalked up to offseason insignificance, for two former Oregon State Beavers the thrill of victory and the chance to hold a trophy high above head, is any but insignificant.
Former Oregon State Beavers Eric Moreland and Jared Cunningham helped power the Sacramento Kings to their first NBA Summer League Championship, as the Kings defeated the Houston Rockets 77-68 in the season finale.
Trailing 60-52 with just over five minutes to play, the Kings unleashed a scoring frenzy that would carry them to a convincing box score and the winner’s circle.
The seemingly inescapable Civil War rivalry even managed to snake it’s way into the NBA Summer League final, with former Oregon Duck Maarty Leunen suiting up for Houston.
Moreland didn’t score in the contest, but continued to display an excess of lengthy range as he snagged 10 rebounds and blocked 3 shots in just under 22 minutes of floor time.
Houston’s Leunen had 1 rebound and 0 points in 11 minutes of play.
Moreland, by all means the former Beaver with the best chance to land a spot on an NBA roster, finished his rookie season prologue averaging 3.8 points and 8.8 rebounds in about 12 minutes per game. At 6’10, 220, Moreland could be 15-20 pounds away from being the 6th or 7th man on a contending team.
With sneaky quickness and a high-motor on the court, he could give opposing teams headaches under the basket.
Jared Cunningham faces a steeper grade in his chances at landing on an NBA teams bench this Fall. The quick guard managed to score 6.8 points per game, playing about 5 1/2 minutes per game. With the NBA Summer League Finals MVP and Jayhawk Ben McLemore standing in his way, Cunningham may very well be continuing on the road of vagabond guards searching for a place on the end of the bench.