Western Illinois Men’s Basketball: Former Leatherneck Turned NBA Hopeful

DENVER – Brandon Gilbeck is headed to the Mile High City, as the Denver Nuggets announced its 2019 Summer League roster Friday (June 28) where the Western Illinois men’s basketball alum stood tall as the lone 7-footer. 

The MGM Resorts NBA Summer League is an off-season competition organized by the National Basketball Association (NBA), and it includes all 30 league teams. Gilbeck will join the Nuggets in a four-day mini-camp (July 1-4), before first-round games start Friday, July 5, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.  

“This is a big-time opportunity for Brandon,” said head coach Billy Wright. “Earning a spot on an NBA Summer League roster is the next best thing to being drafted. He will have an opportunity to play with and against many of the players who were selected in the NBA draft.”

“I’m happy for him and know he will do a great job representing our University and basketball program.” 

In his final Leatherneck campaign, Gilbeck became the third player in Summit League history to be named Defensive Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons. The Spring Green, Wis., native was also the 2018-19 NCAA Division I leader with 3.42 blocked shots per game and currently sits atop Western’s career and single-season records with 285 and 106 blocks, respectively. 

Gilbeck averaged a season’s best 8.5 rebounds per game in his final collegiate slate with 9.5 points. 

The Nuggets’ 15-man summer roster also includes recent draftees Michael Porter Jr. (Missouri), Jarred Vanderbilt  (Kentucky), Thomas Welsh (UCLA) and Vlatko Cancar (San Pablo Burgos). 

Nuggets 2019 Summer League Schedule (first round; all times Central) 
July 5 | vs. Phoenix | 10:30 p.m. | ESPN
July 7 | vs. Orlando | 5 p.m. | NBA TV
July 9 | vs. Boston | 7 p.m. | ESPN2
July 10 | vs. Golden State | 10:30 p.m. | ESPNU

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