PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – Derek Cooke Jr. didn’t participate in the NBA Development League Elite Mini Camp last year, but that didn’t stop him from having a productive offseason.
Not only did Cooke take part in the NBA Summer League with the Phoenix Suns, but he also made their training camp roster and remained on the team through much of the preseason.
The 6-foot 9-inch forward from the University of Wyoming played three games in the Summer League. There he averaged 2.0 points and 2.0 rebounds in 8.0 minutes per game, and although he didn’t appear in any of the preseason games with Phoenix, he got valuable experience being at the highest level.
Now after another successful season in the D-League, Cooke is attending the Elite Mini Camp with Askia Booker and Josh Gray.
He will get a chance to impress NBA personnel at the Elite Mini Camp Monday and Tuesday in Chicago. At the eighth annual two-day scouting event, Cooke will be using his next-level athleticism to his advantage, something he was noticed for in the 2016-17 season with the Northern Arizona Suns.
Cooke earned an invite to the D-League Dunk Contest after showing out in Prescott Valley with throw-down after throw-down.
Altogether, Cooke averaged 7.5 points on 55.9 percent shooting and 7.6 rebounds in 21.7 minutes per game. He was one of three players (Gray and Elijah Millsap) to play in all 50 NAZ Suns games, getting the start in 10 of them.
Now that he’s in Chicago at the camp that starts today, Cooke will assuredly build on the productive offseason that he had last year by demonstrating his athleticism and ability to finish around the rim (his shooting percentage was 14th best in the league).