Welcome Back, Ryan Minor Decides to Join Cavs

John Rohde Published: November 5, 1996
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BIOG: NAME: UPD: 19 -TEXT-

Saying his mind is "focused completely on basketball," former Oklahoma two-sport standout Ryan Minor has signed a contract with the Oklahoma City Cavalry.

The 6-7, 225-pound Minor was released last week by the Philadelphia 76ers, who selected him in the second round of the NBA Draft last June. Earlier that same month, Minor was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles and later played with their minor-league club in Bluefield, W.Va., a decision Minor believes led to his downfall with the Sixers (see related story).

After meeting with friends and family, Minor said he decided last Friday he would sign with the Cavalry. "My dad (Dale) was for it all the way," Minor said. "A lot of my friends also were supportive. Plus, (OU head basketball) Coach (Kelvin) Sampson thought this would be the quickest way to get to the NBA."

"Ryan is a tremendous talent," Sampson said. "I absolutely believe this is the best thing he could have done."

Another option for Minor would have been to play pro basketball overseas, which would have been far more financially lucrative than playing in the CBA, where the average salary for a rookie is approximately $800 per week.

However, the NBA and CBA have a solid working relationship.

Asked if he seriously considered playing overseas, Minor said. "No, not at all. That's a short-term thing. You go over there to make money and - who knows? - you might not even get paid. You hear all the horror stories from people who have gone over there (and not gotten paid). Money's not that big a thing for me right now. Having an opportunity to play is."

Minor participated in the Cavs' two practice sessions Monday at the Columbia Presbyterian Center For Healthy Living.

"He's trying to pick up everything we've put in, but I will say he's a fast learner," Cavalry third-year head coach Russ Bergman said. "I like the fact that even with the size he has, he can still shoot the ball. Basically, he can learn the rest."

"He's a hard-nosed player with great offensive abilities," said director of player personnel/assistant head coach Jim Sleeper. "We've got to see how he fits in. Right now, it's a little premature (to evaluate Minor's potential with the team)."

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