Since being selected by the Washington Wizards as the third overall pick in last June's NBA Draft, Bradley Beal has played in a summer league minicamp at Verizon Center, earned first-team honors for his performance in the Las Vegas Summer League, and traveled back to the gambling capital for an additional three-day training session at a developmental camp led by NBA assistant Tim Grgurich.
Beal has been quite busy since he declared for the draft after one season at Florida. But the real work will start in just over a month, when the 19-year-old will participate in his first NBA training camp.
"The time is coming pretty quick," Beal said. "At the same time, I'm just really enjoying this. You only get to go through this once, so it's always great to sit back, relax and take it all in." Beal has also spent time in the classroom gathering information about what awaits him as a professional basketball player at the NBA's annual Rookie Transition Program (RTP).
Due to last season's NBA lockout, the RTP didn't take place. The RTP was created in 1996 and is run jointly by the league and the NBA Players Association. Its primary purpose is to offer lessons on finances, health, groupies and other challenges.
Beal doesn't plan to arrive at George Mason University for his first official NBA practice with any preconceived notions about his role on the team.
"I want to just come in and try to earn everything. I don't want anything given to me. I want to earn everything and show these guys that I'm a hard worker and I'm a winner, Beal said. "You know we have a young team, but we have a few vets as well and I just want to come in and try to set the tone and try to get this team back on a winning pace."
Beal averaged 17.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists while leading the Wizards to a 3-2 record during the summer league, but feels he has lots of room to improve. "I can always get better. I just want to be more aggressive and contribute a little bit more than what I did," he said. "I think overall I had a solid performance, but I'm still pretty happy."
Shortly after Labor Day, Beal plans to move to Washington to prepare himself for the upcoming season. "I'm still a kid, so there are things I may do, like hang out and things like that, but it's strictly business from here on out," he said.