Updated Jan 25, 2013 - 5:33 pm
Romar: Sonics' return would help Husky hoops
Special to 710Sports.com
Washington men's basketball coach Lorenzo Romar is as much an advocate for the return of the Sonics as any Seattle sports fan. Not only would a professional basketball team in town be a dream come true for local NBA enthusiasts, it would benefit Romar's Huskies as well.
The greater Seattle area has been a hotbed for talent in recent decades. Several UW alumni and other local products currently playing in the NBA come home during the offseason and play against Husky players in summer leagues. One of those leagues has been the Jamal Crawford Summer Pro-Am, run by the Clippers guard and former Rainier Beach star. This past offseason, participants in the league included Grizzlies guard Tony Wroten, Isaiah Thomas of the Kings, and 76ers center Spencer Hawes.
With the Sonics back, the amount of mentors available for UW players would only increase.
"Our guys rub shoulders with those guys in the summer," Romar told "Bob and Groz" Friday. "We have eight guys [UW products] that are playing in the league right now. It's a good situation."
Raised in Seattle, guys like Wroten and Hawes grew up watching the Sonics. Many say the constant rain in the city is the reason for the wide range of talent the area produces, as it keeps kids inside the gym playing basketball. But the Sonics deserve credit for providing Romar with a great selection of local players to recruit. Former Sonics such as Ray Allen, Gary Payton, and Shawn Kemp inspired the youth of Washington.
"It has an impact on the community," Romar said. "Guys watch the NBA, and a kid 8, 9 years old falls in love with the game and ends up becoming a pretty good basketball player in his own right."
Not only would the return of the Sonics motivate young athletes in Seattle, it would bring Thomas home to represent his city.
Romar also addressed any question about whether the Sonics would steal fans from the Huskies.
"Well, our attendance was better when the Sonics were here," he said.
Chris Hansen may be impacting more lives than he thinks.
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