Portland, Ore. (KOIN) — After years and years of working, and weeks of waiting, Kylor Kelley’s NBA dream finally came true.
The Gervais, Oregon native and former Oregon State University center is signing an NBA contract with the San Antonio Spurs.
“It’s been so long,” Kelley said in an interview with KOIN 6. “Five years, in fact — we finally made this dream possible.”
Kelley is joining the Spur’s on an Exhibit 10 deal, which means that while he has an invite to training camp, he still has work to do to earn a two-way deal that will keep him in the Spurs’ system past 60 days. Knowing this, the seven-foot-tall 23-year-old is ready to hit the ground running.
“I rise to the challenge every time I step onto the court,” said Kelley. “With this opportunity I can show I can do it here too.”
Kelley went from playing at a small Christian college to a community college before finally getting a chance to play in the Pac-12 for his final two seasons. In that time, he set several Beaver records — including most blocked shots in a single season (107), blocked shots in a game (9) and consecutive games with multiple blocked shots (15). He finished his career at OSU first all-time in blocked shots (211) and blocked shots average (3.4), earning him a spot on the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team in 2019 and 2020.
“I think these past five years have really shown what I can do when faced with adversity. It shows that I work hard and that I play up to the level of competition,” Kelley said.
Kelley will join up with another former Beaver within the Spurs organization – Drew Eubanks. Eubanks started his NBA career on the same contract Kelley is and just inked a three-year $5.29 million contract.
“I look at [Eubanks’ situation] and it inspires me to try and do the same thing; work as hard as I can and show what I can do.”
Kelley, who never got to play with Eubanks at Oregon State, said Eubanks texted him while he was on a run a few weeks ago. The two alums texted about the coaching style, and the Spurs’ ability and commitment to developing their players and the culture.
“That’s why they were one of my final choices,” Kelley said. Kelley chose the Spurs over four other organizations.
Putting pen to paper was the next step in achieving his professional basketball dreams, but Kelley is confident all the work he’s put in and adversity he’s overcome will keep him in a Spurs uniform much longer than 60 days.
“I think what the Spurs will see, I know they’ll want to keep me.”