Antetokounmpo’s ‘high ceiling’ makes him a potential draft pick

Former Dayton coaches look back at eventful 12 months for former Flyer


NBA Draft starts at 7 p.m. Thursday on ESPN.

A eventful 12 months for former Dayton Flyers forward Kostas Antetokounmpo continues Thursday when he hopes to hear his name called in the NBA Draft.

It’s Antetokounmpo’s potental — not his production at Dayton during his one season on the court — that makes him a potential second-round pick.

“Kostas has a high ceiling,” said former Dayton assistant coach James Kane, who started a new job at Iowa State this week. “He’s learning every day. The staff at Dayton did a great job with him. He just has a bright future.”

» LOCAL CONNECTIONS: Players to watch in NBA Draft

The 6-foot-10 Antetokounmpo averaged 5.2 points and 2.9 rebounds in 15.1 minutes per game. He led the team with 31 blocks. He saw his minutes rise and dip over the course of the season but showed improvement in the final weeks of the season, by which point it was easy to forget what he went through in the months leading up to the season.

Antetokounmpo suffered a knee injury while playing in Greece in July and wasn’t cleared for full contact until late October. At the same time, he was dealing with the death of his father, Charles.

Casey Cathrall, Dayton’s strength coach last season and now the strength coach for the Miami Hurricanes men’s basketball team, looked back at Antetokounmpo’s development in an interview Monday.

“Kostas definitely made some strides,” Cathrall said. “Unfortunately, with some of the things that went on during the offseason, whether it was his injury back in Greece or his father passing away, there were just a lot of setbacks. Our main goal when Kostas finally got back to Dayton was getting him healthy and getting him on the floor. He already sat out a year. We wanted to get him to a point where he could progress and contribute and have a role we could iron out with him. It’s tough coming back from an injury, and I lost my father when I was his age.”

» LOOKING BACK: Negele Knight last UD player to be drafted

Antetokounmpo had to adapt to the college game as well as the daily practice grind, Cathrall said, and the travel. He didn’t travel with the team in his redshirt year.

In the end Antetokounmpo didn’t have the season he wanted, Cathrall said, but he felt Antetokounmpo was hitting his stride by the end of the year.

“He definitely matured over his time at Dayton,” Cathrall said. “I’m excited for him and the opportunity he had going forward. His best days of basketball are ahead of him if he can continue on that plan and that path. I think the biggest thing Kostas probably took away from his time in Dayton are just the habits. No matter what your goals are and where you’re trying to get in life, no matter if it’s basketball or whatever, the habits and the routine and the things that go into being a successful basketball player and person, it doesn’t change. His play toward the end of the year really showed (improvement). I think his habits got better. He got healthier. He started to understand what it takes to be successful. I think his best basketball is ahead of him. I think he’s a kid with a tremendous amount of passion for the game. I think he’s going to do big things and do Dayton proud.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

Girls Soccer: Two area players named to All-Ohio team
Girls Soccer: Two area players named to All-Ohio team

Two local high school girls soccer players have been recognized among Ohio’s best this season. West Liberty-Salem High School senior Gabby Hollar was named the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association Division III player of the year. “I was very shocked,” Hollar said. “It was a big surprise for me.” Shawnee High School...
Ohio State football: Buckeyes wary of Terrapins talent
Ohio State football: Buckeyes wary of Terrapins talent

Urban Meyer began the week claiming Maryland was too talented to overlook with Michigan next on the horizon. The coach of the ninth-ranked Scarlet and Gray said his players would see that when they flipped on the film. Time will tell if that is true, but given the the Terrapins’ 5-5 record, it was hard to view that statement as much more than...
Ohio State at Maryland: What you need to know about Saturday’s game
Ohio State at Maryland: What you need to know about Saturday’s game

Who: No. 9 Ohio State (9-1, 6-1 Big Ten) at Maryland (5-5, 3-4) When: 12 p.m., Saturday Where: Maryland Stadium, College Park, Md. TV/Radio: ABC/1410 Series history: Ohio State leads 4-0. Last game: Ohio State won 62-14 last season in Columbus. The Buckeyes have scored 62 points in back to back games against the Terrapins, and Ohio State has won all...
Newest Dayton recruit will bring ‘size and physicality’ to roster
Newest Dayton recruit will bring ‘size and physicality’ to roster

Moulaye Sissoko made it official Thursday, one day after the start of the early signing period, signing a national letter of intent with the Dayton Flyers. Sissoko, a 6-foot-10 forward from Mali in West Africa, attends Lincoln Academy in Suwanee, Ga. He signed his letter in a ceremony at the school. In seven games this season, he has averaged 15.4...
Division I: All-Southwest District football
Division I: All-Southwest District football

The 2018 Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association Southwest All-District Division I football teams, as selected by a media panel from the district: Backfield: Michael Bittner, Cincinnati Elder, 6-feet-2, 200 pounds, senior, QB; Jesse Deglow, Kettering Fairmont, 5-10, 194, sr., RB; Miles Johnson, Clayton Northmont, 6-1, 195, sr., QB; Cameron Kells, Milford...
More Stories