A former Duke basketball aircraft relished some unoccupied Nevada airspace.
Second-year professional Cassius Stanley took control of the runway on Monday, two days before his 22nd birthday. The high-flying guard did so while donning No. 2, of course, the same number he so often soared in as a 2019-20 Duke basketball one-and-done.
During one trip back down to dry land at the Las Vegas NBA Summer League, Stanley delivered two points to the Indiana Pacers via a vicious dunk that put the nail in the coffin of their eventual 74-65 win over the Washington Wizards.
Naturally, the Duke basketball program’s official Twitter account gave Stanley a well-deserved virtual pat on the back:
The 6-foot-5 jet totaled 19 points in the contest — shooting 7-for-10 from the field and 3-for-4 beyond the arc — to go along with seven rebounds and two assists.
An encouraging month for the Duke basketball product
Stanley was on the floor — or perhaps more accurately, in the air — for every outing across Indiana’s 3-2 run in Vegas. He wrapped up Summer League action with 11.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 54.3 percent from the field, including a much-improved 41.2 percent from downtown.
Last season, as a rookie for a 34-38 Pacers squad that came up just shy of a playoff berth, the 2020 late second-round pick appeared in only 24 NBA games. He totaled only 36 points, 20 boards, and one dime.
Yet Stanley managed a double-digit scoring average between a dozen G League appearances. Also, he didn’t disappoint in the 2021 NBA Dunk Contest:
Now, as an unrestricted free agent, the young NBA Blue Devil is eyeing increased minutes and above-the-rim highlights somewhere in the league when the 2021-22 season tips off in late October. And his Summer League flight should only help prove his potential might.
If nothing else, Cassius Stanley sure left Las Vegas on a high note.