Dunleavy keeps close tabs on Cameron Reynolds’ professional career path
NEW ORLEANS – The opening act for Cameron Reynolds’ professional career comes with great excitement, but also a list of uncertainties such as when, where and with whom. Time is the only counting metric Reynolds can’t controll, so he’s not making it a friend or an enemy, but instead establishing his own starting line for the next chapter of his life.
After finishing his fifth and final season playing for the Tulane men’s basketball team, Cameron Reynolds continued taking classes online, signed with Independent Sports & Entertainment (ISE) – a sports agency – and moved to Los Angeles just a month after the buzzer sounded in his final collegiate game in mid-March. There, he’s been keeping himself busy, transforming himself physically and mentally in preparation for the inevitable launch of his pro career.
In 2016-17, playing his first season under Tulane head coach Mike Dunleavy Sr., Reynolds enjoyed a breakout junior campaign and was named American Athletic Conference Most Improved Player of the Year. Dunleavy remains close with Reynolds, visiting him in L.A., on multiple occasions in early May to catch up and check in with his former player.
“Cam is doing great,” Dunleavy said. “He’s in amazing shape and his conditioning looks excellent. He looks great in one-on-one drills and in the half-court on the run.”
Reynolds’ level of conditioning didn’t come naturally. He’s always been a hard worker in the gym and on the court, but those efforts have increased tenfold during his preparations.
“I work out three times each day, every single day,” Reynolds said. “In the mornings, I do skill work and on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I lift weights for an hour and then do shooting drills at nighttime around 8 o’clock. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I take yoga instead of doing weights.”
Exercising with high intensity is half the battle, but Reynolds also points out that his diet has been crucial to his conditioning.
“I’m on a meal preparation plan so my body feels really good,” Reynolds said. “In college, I was always making sure I was in class, getting to tutoring and handling the school side of things, but now I can focus on just basketball and staying in shape.”
On the court, Dunleavy believes Reynolds is making the right strides toward elevating his game as a pro and even took some time to help some of the players his former standout is working out with.
“I put the whole group there through drills that I used to use when testing guys during my 20 years in the NBA,” Dunleavy said. “He’s in a good place and ready to show that to NBA teams. I’ve received a lot of positive feedback from those organizations who plan on bringing him in for workouts and how they value him.”
Reynolds already has his short and long-term goals set. In the short term, he wants to make it to the NBA and plans to work toward that for as long as he can. In the long term, he intends to play basketball as long as he can.
His skill enhancement will go a long way toward accomplishing both, and it begins with his ability to make outside shots. Reynolds is adjusting to shooting beyond the NBA 3-point line, his movement on the court and his ball-handling abilities.
“He’s shooting the ball very well,” Dunleavy said. “Moving back with the NBA three-point line hasn’t been an issue at all for him. He also has a major post game and he has an excellent in-between game that not many people have.”
Reynolds’ ability to stretch the floor and create spacing in defensive alignments made him a challenge for college coaches in game-planning. Dunleavy sees great opportunity for him to have the upper hand in pick-and-roll plays as well.
“Everyone switches (defensively) in pick-and-rolls, he can take a guy down to what I call the torture chamber and wear him out,” Dunleavy said. “He has those skills.”
Whether it’s a two-way NBA contract or a lucrative deal in Europe, professional playing opportunities will be aplenty for Reynolds.
“He’s ready,” Dunleavy said. “I think he will surprise some NBA teams in his workouts, especially in the areas he excels.”
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