NEXT LEVEL WATCH: Johnson, Nunnally, Nelson playing in NBA Summer League

A quartet of players with local ties are competing in the NBA’s Summer League: Roberto Nelson, Orlando Johnson, Greg Somogyi and James Nunnally.

Johnson, Nunnally and Somogyi – all players from UCSB’s NCAA Tournament teams of 2010 and 2011 – are looking to impress in order to land new playing contracts.

Johnson, with two years of NBA experience playing for the Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings, has has been starting for the Golden State Warriors and is averaging 11 points per game in two contests. Johnson, UCSB’s all-time leading scorer, does not have a guaranteed contract for the upcoming season.

Rusty Gate of the San Francisco Gate spoke with Johnson in Las Vegas this weekend:

To get back into the NBA, Johnson believes that he has to prove to the league’s decision-makers that he can defend at a high level and play offense within a system. The Warriors are giving him a chance to do that in Las Vegas – a chance to prove that he could round out a dynamic backcourt that includes Stephen CurryKlay ThompsonShaun Livingston and Nemanja Nedovic.

“It’s humbling (to be in the summer league), but it’s also a chance to keep getting better,” Johnson said. “It gives me a chance to keep working on things that I need to improve. That’s all I’m thinking about: ways to keep improving as a player. I’m just hoping that I get a chance to play and show that I’ve been working on some things.

“I’ve been waiting for a while to really show what I can do, but something I’ve always been is a worker. I know I won’t be punished for that. I’ll keep working, keep improving and hopefully find a way to stick in the league.”

Nunnally, playing for the Indiana Pacers in the Orlando session, is coming off a 19-point effort and has started in three of four games for the Pacers. He’s averaging 11.3 points, 4 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. His 19-point game came on 7-of-11 shooting with three makes from long range. Nunnally has played well in the NBA’s Development League since leaving UCSB and made his NBA debut last season with the Atlanta Hawks while with them for two 10-day contracts.

Roberto Nelson, a Santa Barbara High alum who was a top scorer in the Pac 12 last season for Oregon State, saw his first action on Sunday for the Charlotte Hornets. Nelson saw five minutes of court time, scoring two points on free throws. Charlotte’s lottery pick, Noah Vonleh of Indiana University, pulled down 18 rebounds in the game, a 72-65 loss to Sacramento.

Nelson is one of five guards on Charlotte’s summer-team roster.

Somogyi, who has played professionally in Europe since leaving UCSB, did not play in the Utah Jazz’s first summer-league game.

The NBA’s Summer League in Orlando has concluded, but games in Las Vegas continue through July 21.

Kyle Korver – The part-time Santa Barbara resident has been selected to participate in USA Basketball’s training camp leading up to August’s World Championships. Korver, the NBA record-holder for consecutive games with a made 3-pointer, trains at Peak Performance Project every offseason. He is one of 19 players invited by USA Basketball to participate, a roster that includes superstars Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, James Harden and Paul George.

John Requejo – The Carpinteria native recently made his professional debut with Club Tijuana (Xolos) of Mexico’s First Division. Requejo is also a member of the United States’ U-20 Naitonal Team which is playing an international friendly this Friday in Los Angeles. Requejo and the United States will host Australia at the StubHub Center (formerly the Home Depot Center) in Carson. Friday’s game will be streamed live on USSoccer.com.

The game is part of U.S. Soccer’s NTC Invitational, a small round-robin tournament that includes U-20 national teams from Chile and Bermuda. The Americans face Chile tonight and Bermuda on Wednesday. The teams are preparing for the 2015 FIFA U20 World Cup in New Zealand.

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