Former Maryland center Diamond Stone plays in first pro game
By Christian Simmons
Jul 02, 2016 | 8:25 PM
"Every big [man] picked in front of me, it’s just like when I see them, it’s going to be war," said Diamond Stone after being selected in the second round of the NBA draft. (Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun video)
Center Diamond Stone stepped onto the court for the first pro basketball game of his career Saturday, suiting up for the Los Angeles Clippers in the Orlando Pro Summer League.
The former Terp started at center for the Clippers and played 24 minutes during the team's 91-71 loss to the Miami Heat. He finished with eight points on 3-for-8 shooting, five rebounds and two steals.
"I feel like I played well," Stone said after the game.
"I showed I could shoot the jump shot, I showed I could play pick-and-roll defense, I showed I could rebound, so I feel like it was a good day of summer league … and I feel like that tomorrow will be better."
Stone, who was traded to the Clippers after being drafted 40th overall by the New Orleans Pelicans, said he felt he showed coaches and scouts around the league that he can compete at a high level.
Stone averaged 12.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks at Maryland. Since joining the Clippers, Stone said he has noticed several differences between the college and the pro levels.
"It's a little bit more aggressive, you know … you play harder, I'd say," he said. "The game speed's a little bit faster but, again, you get a lot more freedom. … The coaches trust you more."
Stone declared for the 2016 NBA draft after his freshman season. Despite being projected as a late first-round pick, Stone did not hear his name called until the 10th pick of the second round. Now Stone is excited to use his time in summer league to show the teams that passed on him their mistake.
At 19, Stone is the youngest player on the Clippers' summer league roster. He knows he has room to grow and improve and is looking forward to the rest of the games in Orlando that run through Friday.