During the final stretch of the 2016-17 NBA season for the Los Angeles Lakers, the team decided to bring in another player with an open roster spot after making a couple of trades with the Houston Rockets. That player turned out to be Cal Poly product David Nwaba of the Los Angeles D-Fenders.
Nwaba quickly made an impression after being called up from the D-Fenders and arguably became the Lakers’ best perimeter defender. The 24-year-old ultimately proved his worth and earned a contract with the team setting up a potentially bright future playing for his hometown Lakers.
On Sat. June 10, Nwaba will make an appearance in Rowland Heights at The Optometry Practice of Dr. Alex Corbin Liu to sign autographs. Nwaba spoke with Lakers Nation to promote the event as well as talk about his experience with the Lakers thus far and what he’s been working on during the offseason.
Ryan Ward: How was the experience reaching the NBA level and playing for and signing with a franchise as iconic as the Lakers?
David Nwaba: “It was a dream come true. Growing up a Lakers fan. Playing at the Staples Center. It was something I wished I could do all my life, so I enjoyed every second of it.”
RW: What are you working on during the offseason?
DW: “Well, right now I’m just working on my jump shot. Working on my form. Trying to improve my speed, as far as my quickness and my jump shot, and ball-handling as well. And try to continue to work on my defense.”
RW: Is there a player in the league current or retired that you patterned your game after?
DW: “He’s retired, but I pattern my game around Bruce Bowen. That’s what I’m trying to work on as far as corner threes. Trying to knock down the corner three and on the defensive end playing defense on the toughest players, so that’s the biggest thing. Knocking down the corner three and playing defense.”
RW: How do you plan to convince the Lakers you deserve a roster spot next season?
DW: “I plan on giving 100 percent effort on both ends of the floor. Showing them I’m ready to compete every day.”
RW: Do you have a particular goal moving forward?
DW: “Right now, it’s just making the team and doing what I can. Proving my game every day and hopefully fall into the rotation.”
RW: Who was the toughest player to guard once you started playing for the Lakers?
DW: “Well, there’s a lot of great players in the NBA, but I’d say the toughest was James Harden. I guarded him on a couple of possessions. He ended up with a double-double at the end of the first quarter. He’s just a great player that has a lot of different moves.”