Leron Black, the Memphis (Tenn.) White Station product, spent last week in Colorado Springs, Colo., participating in USA Basketball’s U18 training camp vying for a spot on the team that would represent the U.S. at the FIBA Americas championships. One of 24 invitees, Black wasn’t among the 12 named to the team.
“Obviously, you want to make it. He understands it was an honor to be invited,” UI coach John Groce said. “One thing about Leron, I know he competed because that’s just how he’s wired. My understanding from him and others is he rebounded the ball really, really well. He just may not have been the right fit for that particular staff and what they were looking for.”
The positive, though, for Black and the Illini is that he was able to arrive on campus in time to begin summer school and team workouts without falling behind.
“I always tell our guys that sometimes you have to make lemonade out of lemons. If he had made it, he wouldn’t have been here until the end of the second week,” Groce said. “He and I have talked about it in terms of looking at it as a positive. Leron’s wired that way anyway. He’s pretty much a glass-half-full guy.”