TAMPA A pair of touring sport combines will soon land in the Tampa Bay area, giving undiscovered talents a chance to turn pro.
On April 13 and 14, Whitecox & Lyons Sports Management will conduct a basketball combine for men and women at the Wildwood Recreation Center in St. Petersburg. On May 25, Euro Sports Scouting will host a football combine at the Larry Sanders Sports Complex in Riverview.
The combines cost $200 and $195, respectively, and registration is required through the companies’ websites: www.whitecoxsports.net and www.eurosportsscouting.com.
Basketball players from the University of South Florida, Central Florida, Eckerd College, University of Tampa, Saint Leo, Florida Southern and St. Thomas University have been invited, said Dustin Simcox, a sports agent and president and CEO of California-based Whitecox & Lyons Sports Management. The combine also will include an open tryout for non-college players. The $200 fee includes an individual highlight tape for the player and agent representation.
If selected by the company, players will have representation going forward in possible contract negotiations with international, NBA and WNBA franchises. Players also would be entered in open tryouts for the NBDL, the NBA’s development league, Simcox said.
“The idea is to bring out hidden talents that are the diamonds in the rough,” Simcox said.
The football combine, which will be conducted by Velocity Sports Performance and its Florida regional scout, James Grant, will showcase players to more than 800 foreign teams, as well as the Canadian Football League and Indoor Football League. The fee includes entry to the combine, the Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test and a background check.
“They want better football overseas,” said Brian Pirone, president of ESS. “The better American players they have over there, the better their leagues will be.”
As many as 200 prospects are expected to attend the Tampa combine.
“These kids just need a look,” said Charles Garner, the ex-Tampa Bay Buccaneer and now senior vice president of player development for ESS. “Maybe they had different circumstances or they got in trouble. They still have the talent.”