Players, coaches know the ultimate goal

OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - The Wisconsin Herd, the Milwaukee Bucks G League Affiliate, began its training camp Monday at the 20th Avenue YMCA in Oshkosh.

Vitto Brown plays defense Oct. 24 in the Wisconsin Herd training Camp.

The 15-man roster for the Wisconsin Herd includes former Wisconsin Badgers forward Vitto Brown who was among the four local player tryout invitees.

“When this opportunity presented itself I jumped right on it,” Brown said Tuesday. “I wanted to stay in the states so everybody could see me play. I’m not too far from home and hopefully keep working my way up.”

Brown spent four seasons at Wisconsin earning more than quadruple the minutes in his final two years with the Badgers. Brown had a career average of 5.5 points per game while being known for his defense and ability to stretch the floor.

“I’m just going to bring toughness. That Wisconsin attitude which is ‘nothing’s given,” Brown said. “We don’t take anything for granted. We take anything we can get and we have a good time playing while we do it.”

The G League, formerly the Developmental League remains just that, a developmental league for players to expand their game while showcasing themselves for NBA teams. Brown’s goals, much like the rest of the league are to make it to the NBA.

“We are going to enjoy this while we can. We are going to use this as a tool to help us get better. Help this team win,” Brown said. “And hopefully make it to the NBA one day.”

Then there are guys like former Kentucky guard James Young. Young was drafted by the Boston Celtics in the first round (17th overall) in the 2014 NBA Draft after spending one season with the Wildcats.
“It’s always a process,” Young said. “You’re always going to have some ups-and-downs. You always have to keep fighting and keep getting to where you want to go in life and your goals so it’s always going to be a fight to where you want to be at.”

Young declared for the NBA Draft after the 2013-14 season which ended with a lost in the NCAA National Championship against UConn. After being drafted, Young bounced around from the Celtics and their D-League team the Maine Red Claws. He played a total of 89 games with the Celtics and 23 with the Red Claws. He then became a free agent in July 2017.

“Never forget your goals. Whatever you put your head to, mind to, always keep pushing yourself to get there and if you ever got a setback or anything just keep going. Everything’s going to happen,” Young said.
Herd Head Coach Jordan Brady has had a similar journey. Brady has spent the past five years as an assistant coach for the Salt Lake City Stars, a Utah Jazz G League affiliate so he knows his players NBA aspirations are always in their mind.

“We really like the guys to focus on the big picture because I think it helps them to stay motivated day in and day out of the small stuff so you have to allow them to dream big to understand the G League is not their ultimate goal but to be a good player in this league and to be in a good team in this league is going to help them get where they want to be,” Brady said.

“Our coaches are great about that they realize that this is the Bucks minor league team so they want everybody ultimate goal to be to play in the NBA because they know that’s going to spur competition that’s going to make sure everybody goes hard every play,” Brown said. “We all have the vision in mind and we know that playing a good team game and playing as long you can and this season will only help going forward.”

The Herd’s season opener is Monday, November 6 against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers at the State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, Texas. The team will be on the road for its first four games to start the season. The home opener at Menominee Nation Arena is November 17 in Oshkosh.