Let us introduce you to Brian “Smoking Aces” Kortovich, who earned his nickname on the streetball courts of New York. From now on he will give you an exclusive look behing the scenes as we follow him on his journey to hopefully earning a roster spot in the league this summer. The last two seasons Brian came awfully close as he made it to last cuts in workouts/training camp with both the Knicks and Nets. Now we’ll hand it over to BK and let him introduce himself!
I know what you are thinking, trust me, I ‘ve heard it before. Right now you are thinking “”Who the heck is this guy?” My name is Brian Kortovich, hailing from Cleveland, Ohio. I play the point, but am more of a ‘Points Guard,’ as I can definitely score the rock. Over the next few months I’m gonna share my story, answering that question once and for all. Right now I’ll say this – I’m a very humble guy, who works extremely hard at my craft, but I can shoot the rock with the best of them – at any level. That’s why most people who have seen me play, claim I am the best shooter you haven’t heard of yet. Yet being the word that hopefully won’t last for long…
Read Brian’s first blog in its entirety after the jump and stay tuned for more details and quotes from NBA coaches in the upcoming weeks!
Truly, I’ve been playing ball for as long as I can remember. The past few years I’ve been grinding for the love of the game. Believe me, nothing came easy along this road less traveled, that has seen me make some risky decisions and take chances. I have been forced to pick myself up many times, but my patience, mental focus and belief in my abilities has opened the door to being able to travel the world – playing ball. Which means my passport is ridiculous. I played professionally in Kuwait, Italy, France, Israel, Dominican Republic and drafted into the NBA D-League in 2009, initially.
Speaking of that, just a few weeks ago I got some good news – my rights have been picked up by the Dallas Mavericks//Texas Legends affiliate of the NBDL. I am preparing, training and getting ready for Mavericks mini-camp out in Dallas, later in June. I’m in an empire state of mind these days, NYC is my home and where I’ve been training. For anyone who knows a thing or two about the local scene here, well, it’s a great place to keep sharp. Some serious talents.
A few summers back I was @ Dyckman Park up in Washington Heights. I ended up winning the 3Point Shootout Competition they held annually and beat the likes of Kenny Satterfield, Steve Burt Jr, Keydron Clark and the defending champ they called X-Ray Rivera. Characters man, there are some real characters. – good guys. I was playing for a team named Black Wallstreet, coached by James Ryan (former Harlem Globtrotters coach). I got hot early and dropped 31pts and we took home the win. But that isn’t the only thing I took home, as both MC’s on the mic, Hannibal and EJ the Mayor, dubbed me the nickname “Smokin’ Aces”, a name that seems to follow me through the city, both on and off the court.
In the fall of 2009 I got my first opportunity at the NBA level, and the past 2 seasons I have been invited to both New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets preseason workouts and training camps. To think you can play in the League is one thing, but when I got my chance I did not disappoint and proved I belonged.
“Brian is a lights out shooter and has a great understanding of the game. He has been overlooked for whatever reason. He can play in the NBA and proved it against our guys. There’s a spot for Brian on every NBA roster.”
Dan D’Antoni, New York Knicks Assistant Coach
Anyway, this is my ‘Hello World!’ post, but in the future I’ll keep you up to date on the work-outs, the travel, the life of a guy doing everything he can to break in to the Association. My favorite word? Believe. I believe I’m gonna make it, and hopefully you do too as you follow me on the journey. Let’s do this.
Till next time…
BK (Smokin’ Aces)