Ferrell focused on proving himself in Brooklyn #iubb

Overlooked in the NBA Draft and left to the bench in the Las Vegas Summer League, Yogi Ferrell’s focus has never been more clear.

To continue playing basketball in North America, and preferably in the NBA, Ferrell knows what must come next.

“It’s time for me to go out and prove myself, I feel like,” Ferrell said. “I can only do that through my work and confidence and just doing what I can do.”

Buoyed by a partially-guaranteed deal with the Brooklyn Nets, Ferrell will have an opportunity to do so this fall. Although the Nets won’t open their preseason camp for another two months, Ferrell is already looking to gain a step in his pursuit of an NBA roster spot.

He’ll report to Brooklyn in the next few weeks, aiming to learn the system ahead of schedule and build rapport with his new coaching staff. In need of guard depth this summer, Brooklyn has restocked its backcourt by signing Jeremy Lin, Greivis Vasquez and Randy Foye, and selecting hometown combo guard Isaiah Whitehead in the second round of the draft.

A partially guaranteed deal, at the very least, will give Ferrell a nice chunk of cash — terms of his deal have not been disclosed — and an invitation to camp.

From there, it’s on Ferrell to show he’s worth keeping around.

“It’ll be fun playing against guys that have been there multiple years, veteran guys,” Ferrell said. “I definitely still gotta prove myself (but) I feel like I can still learn something from them.”

Although he didn’t start any of the four games he played, Ferrell is coming off a steady stint for Brooklyn in the Las Vegas Summer League.

He averaged 8.8 points and 1.8 assists, while playing 17 minutes per contest for the Nets in Vegas. He closed his summer with 10 points and two steals against Cleveland on July 16.

The biggest surprise on Ferrell’s stat line was his lack of success from 3-point range. He shot only 2-for-11 beyond the arc, including a 1-for-6 showing in his first game of the month.

“It was different,” Ferrell said of his summer. “It was a lot different. You’re only playing about 15 minutes a game coming off the bench, but I tried to make the most out of it, I felt like. I felt like when I went in there I was productive with the minutes that I had. The coaches felt like I had a strong presence when I was out on the court. They were letting me know the things that I was doing through the film that I watched and they felt like I impressed.”

Through that feedback, Ferrell knows what Nets executives want to see during the preseason.

“You just have to have some intangibles,” Ferrell said. “With them, you just have to have a basketball IQ. I feel like that’s what they look for in their organization, going out there and having a great feel for the game.”

If he’s unable to crack Brooklyn’s roster, Ferrell could land on its D-League team, the Long Island Nets.

It wouldn’t be the worst move.

The Nets have arranged for their D-League team to practice at their NBA facility and play games at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn this season, which keeps the D-Leaguers within view of the franchise brass.

But for Ferrell, that’ll be a conversation for a different time. Right now, he’s focused on Brooklyn and proving he belongs with the parent club.

“My agent (Keith Kreiter) has a great relationship with their GM (Sean Marks) and their whole front office,” Ferrell said. “He definitely put in a good word for me and I felt like Brooklyn was the best chance for me of making the team.”

In the mean time, Ferrell is working out and returning favors.

He returned to Bloomington this weekend to run camps for children in grades one through 12 at Twin Lakes Recreation Center

For the former IU star, who set program records for career assists and games played and started, it’s a chance to offer thanks to a community he called home for the past four seasons.

“All the times they came to our games, especially all four years I was there, now I’m giving back to them what they gave to me,” Ferrell said.

Between drills Saturday, Ferrell also shared his thoughts on the Hoosiers’ upcoming season and a roster he agrees has the potential to run deep into March.

“They’ll be young,” Ferrell said. “They only have one senior and two juniors (in the regular playing rotation), but they’re definitely talented. I’ll tell you that. They’ve got a lot of talent, but it’s what they do with that talent. I’d say they can probably be better than how we were last year.”

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