LaBrae, Davidson standout could be an NBA free agent
By MIKE McLAIN
Ask Peyton Aldridge how many points he totaled during a four-year basketball career at Davidson College, and he quickly passes the question on to his mother, Lisa.
That would be a good sign to any NBA scout that might take a close look at Aldridge, a 2014 graduate of LaBrae High School. It’s never been about personal glory for Aldridge, although he has plenty of reasons to be proud of his accomplishments at Davidson.
Aldridge finished with 2,171 points, which is third on the college’s career scoring list. Topping the list is Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry.
Aldridge, who was honored Thursday at the United Way Champions Among Us banquet at The Lake Club, is currently mapping the next step in his athletic career. He’s had conversations with multiple NBA teams that could have an interest in signing him as a free agent following the draft.
“I’m probably not going to get drafted, so it’s kind of their choice,” Aldridge said. “They’ll reach out to my agent and who they would want me to play the summer league with. Hopefully I’ll have multiple options, then I’ll get to decide, but if I have only one choice, I’ll have to go with my one option.”
Aldridge has inched up a bit in height from his high school days and is now listed at 6-foot-8. He played center at times for the Wildcats but is best suited as a shooting guard or small forward on the next level.
In today’s NBA game, there’s always a need for talented outside shooters that can contribute from beyond the 3-point line. The Charlotte Hornets have had Aldridge in for a workout, and more opportunities will undoubtedly follow.
If the NBA path doesn’t pan out, Aldridge could always play in Europe. The pay might not be as lucrative, but playing overseas could provide the chance for a lengthy and successful career.
“That’s definitely an option,” Aldridge said. “That’s a great place over there. Not many people can say they’ve gone overseas and lived in Europe or wherever. That would be a pretty cool experience.”
Aldridge made his presence known soon after arriving on campus in 2014. He started all 32 games in earning a spot on the Atlantic 10 all-freshmen team. Among his many awards in his senior season were first team all-Atlantic 10 and conference co-player of the year.
“Four years ago as a freshman I never would have dreamed of any of this,” Aldridge said. “I just wanted to get on the court and play and help the team as much as possible. Getting all the accolades this year was great, but I’m just
thankful and blessed to have been a part of such a great program.”
It’s been a fast ride for Aldridge, who has shown that being from the small community of Leavittsburg wasn’t a hindrance. His advice to other athletes in the same situation would be to enjoy every moment.
“No matter what, if you’re good enough you’ll be seen,” he said.