The long road home for Conroy

It's been a while since we caught up with former Husky point guard Will Conroy. He's been up and down the NBA ladder and he even made a trip to Italy to play some ball. We spoke with Conroy recently and he talked about what's up next for him as well as what is different about the game across the pond.

"They always sing during the game, so I guess if you like that, it's cool," Conroy said with chuckle after a recent workout at Hec Ed. "I'm not one for my fans singing while I'm at the free throw line because I like to focus, but the experience was good for the most part.

"The coaching was different. You find yourself out there because you have a lot of alone time and you have a chance to reflect on where you've been as far as your basketball career and where you want to be and the money was good so it was a good experience for me."

When your team is owned by Armani, it would seem the threads the players take the court in would be top of the line, but that wasn't so according to Conroy.

"The uniforms sucked," a smiling Conroy noted. "I thought Armani should have done more with sponsoring the uniforms.

"I got to meet (Armani). At Christmas time we got some money to spend in his store. Beyonce came up to the store so that was cool."

Aside from the glitterati, Conroy's focus was closer to home and on his goal of being with an NBA team sooner, rather than later.

"The toughest adjustment was that it wasn't the NBA and all these years I've put into basketball, I did it to play in the NBA and the fact that I sit on the computer all the time and watch the NBA scoreboards and watching the NBA games and knowing my best friends are playing in the NBA, it was killing me," Conroy admitted.

"I came back because I wanted to get to the NBA. I felt like I was too far out of the NBA circle. The reason I left anyway was to make money and when I got that first check I was like ‘alright, this was worth it, this was worth the 12-hour flight'."

Now that he's been back in the states, Conroy has already been through the ringer of the NBA call-up program.

"One of those teams picked up my rights in case I came back to the D-league this year," Conroy said. "They didn't want to release me so it took a while to get on the Albuquerque team and the craziest part about it was, after about a week on the team, the (Seattle) Sonics almost signed me.

"They ended up taking Eddie Gill over me, but they had called me in the morning and said ‘pack your bags' and I thought I was going to get on a flight to play for the Sonics for the rest of the year, but they ended up taking Eddie Gill over me."

Even though he was spurned during the season by his hometown team, Conroy said he'll be at a mini-camp this coming week with the Sonics and he'll renew an old rivalry, one that goes back to high school, college and even during the offseason.

"I'm doing mini camp with the Sonics on the 12th and 13th so that should be pretty fun," Conroy said. "Me and a couple of other guys are going in there to compete.

"They know I can run a team. I played against the Sonics in my stint in the NBA when I was with the (Los Angeles) Clippers and I made a big steal even though we didn't make the game-winning shot so I think they know I can play at this level.

"Me and Luke (Ridnour) have bumped heads a little bit. I actually work out with him a lot of times during the summer, so we have some history, but he's a pretty good player."

Then he added with a laugh, "He's a (Oregon) Duck though, so I can only give him so much love."

Wherever Conroy ends up, he'll always be a Husky at heart.


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