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Kramer to play in Puerto Rico

Chris Kramer didn't see this coming.

He figured he'd try to get workouts in with NBA teams, get into minicamps and continue to just work out on his own and improve his game this summer.

Instead, he's leaving for Puerto Rico on Tuesday morning.

Kramer will play point guard for the Guaynabo Mets starting this week and for the team's run during the playoffs. Kramer said if the team advances to the championship game, he could be in Puerto Rico for seven weeks.

He's never been there -- the Boilermakers actually are playing in a tournament there next season -- and doesn't know anyone there.

He took Spanish classes at Huntington North but doesn't speak it fluently. He's hoping he can understand it well enough to get by.

At least one of his teammates is also from the States, former Illinois player Shaun Pruitt.

Kramer was staying in shape by working out with Mad Ants teammates Walker Russell Jr. and Ron Howard in Indianapolis and with an assistant coach at Huntington North, he said.

"The biggest thing is always being ready because you never know what's going to happen," Kramer said. "I feel pretty good. So hopefully I can go there and be in good shape."

Kramer also isn't only feeling good physically -- his confidence level is up after a solid first professional season with the Mad Ants.

He averaged 13.5 points per game, proving that he's not just a defensive-minded tough guy. He's got offensive game, too.

"With the 24-second shot clock, there's a lot more shots to be taken and you can't pass up those open shots because that might be the only good shot you get in that possession," he said. "I definitely think it helped with them seeing that, it can open up more doors, more opportunities for the career moving forward."

Not that Kramer would ever only focus on offense.

"You've got to do what you're good at," he said. "You can't get away from those things and try to mold into somebody different. So no matter what offensive steps I take in my game, I still have to be that defensive presence. Build off of that and you just have to be aggressive at the offensive end."

If you want to keep tabs on Kramer while he's in Puerto Rico, check in with his blog or follow him on Twitter. He said he'll try to update both as much as he can.

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