Chris Kramer got the call directly.
We want you, said Edwin Loubriel, the father of one of Kramers classmates at Purdue and the owner of the Guaynabo Mets, a member of the 10-team Baloncesto Superior Nacional league in Puerto Rico.
So Kramer is going.
Hes flying from Fort Wayne to Chicago to Puerto Rico today and will join the team for its final regular-season game Wednesday and staying with it throughout the duration of the playoffs. Kramer, who signed a contract to be the teams point guard, didnt know the playoff schedule but said if the Mets make the championship, his stay in Puerto Rico could last seven weeks.
Im taking my talents to Puerto Rico, Kramer said with a soft laugh, referencing LeBron James Decision announcement. Im kind of nervous, but Im excited about this opportunity. Its a great chance for me to grow up as a person, totally being on my own. I dont know one person in Puerto Rico in the city that Ill be in. So Ill get a chance to do a lot of things on my own and really take steps, hopefully, in the right direction in that aspect.
Its a chance to try to be molded into a better basketball player and a chance to mold into a true point guard, which will help me be more versatile moving forward with my career.
The NBA canceled its Las Vegas Summer League, and Kramer was exploring some options to try to get to some NBA minicamps when the call from Loubriel came.
Kramer thinks it could be a prime opportunity to continue to prove he can play at an elite level. In his first professional season last year, Kramer shot 54 percent from the field and averaged 13.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists for the Mad Ants.
This is a way to go over there in a respected league, Kramer said. They said a lot of rookies dont get a chance to play in this league right away, so its a chance, if I go there and play well, to increase my market value overseas for this coming season. Its a chance, again, if I do play well, to have a job over there in the spring and summer months, make some decent money playing in a beautiful place.