Washington Wizards: Sheldon McClellan and Danuel House played together as children in Texas and now they’ve realized their NBA dreams.
The Houston natives have known each other since middle school and used basketball to grow their friendship. After parting ways in college, McClellan and House went on to become standout players at Miami and Texas A&M, respectively.
Both players went undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft and their chances of realizing their dreams, let alone playing together at such a high level, became slim.
McClellan, a 6-foot-6 guard, signed a partially guaranteed deal with the Washington Wizards shortly after the draft ended and was essentially a lock to join the team for training camp.
House agreed to play for the Wizards in summer league, but was considered a long-shot to make the roster.
While together on the team, both players were competing.
Summer league presents a weird dynamic, with 12+ players theoretically playing together, but all competing for just a few roster spots.
McClellan struggled and didn’t stand out from the competition.
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House, on the other hand, showed off his athleticism and ability to knock down shots from deep, leading the Wizards to several exhibition victories alongside Kelly Oubre in Vegas.
House, like McClellan, agreed to a training camp deal with the Wizards.
Washington built their roster around the idea of versatility this past summer.
McClellan and House, both long defenders capable of guarding multiple positions, fit the description of players Scott Brooks typically likes keeping on his roster.
Still, it’s rare to see multiple players make it out of training camp on non-guaranteed deals.
Somehow, they did it.
McClellan and House had apparently done enough to win spots over players who had a taste of the NBA.
McClellan, in particular, rose his level of play in preseason and provided a substantial spark off the bench. House, in limited minutes, showed that he was capable of defending and impacting the game beyond the box score.
The odds of the two players making it out of college and playing together in the NBA after going undrafted were almost nonexistent. They seemingly had a better chance of winning the lottery – twice.
Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic chronicled their journey from high school to the pros, specifically how they beat the odds and realized their dreams together.
"“It’s a special moment, as far as both of us being from Houston and both growing up playing against each other,” McClellan said. “Now we have a chance to grow in this organization together. It’s just been a bonding thing from when we were little to now.”"
The opportunity for the two players to contribute during the regular season is there.
Neither McClellan nor House were expected to make the NBA. They weren’t expected to beat out several experienced players for roster spots. And now they’re not expected to crack Brooks’ rotation. If there’s a duo that can do it, it’s the one from Houston.