Frank Kaminsky has a simple answer when anybody asks him what it’s like to play in the NBA.
“It’s cool. That’s normally what I say,” Kaminsky said. “There really is no other way to describe it. It’s an awesome job.”
Kaminsky, a Lisle native and Benet Academy alum, made his first regular-season appearance at the United Center on Friday night. The ninth-overall pick in this year’s draft after rising to stardom at Wisconsin, Kaminsky entered play with the Charlotte Hornets averaging 3.0 points and 9.0 minutes over his first eight NBA games.
“The transition’s been a little difficult,” Kaminsky said, “but once you pick up on things and you really get into the season it gets easier and easier by the day.”
That transition seems to be further along on offense. Defensively, he’s adjusting to the NBA game and having to play further away from the rim than he did in college.
It’s indeed a work in progress, but coach Steve Clifford is confident Kaminsky will adjust smoothly.
“When you go from being a center in college you’re really almost getting no preparation for any of the stuff that he has to do here to be able to play well,” Clifford said. “Not that it’s ground zero, because he played for a phenomenal coach (Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan), so he has a foundation and a base, but again, like tonight he’ll guard (Nikola) Mirotic where literally in college he guarded six feet from the basket.
“Frank is smart. He’s got good toughness and he works at it, so I don’t think it’ll be much longer.”
It might not be, but Kaminsky will always be a native of the area. His aunt works for the Bulls – Kaminsky said she doesn’t have a choice other than to cheer for him because he’s “blood” – and he had “too many” friends and family at the game to count.
“It’s just awesome that I get to be back here and play in front of all my family and friends,” Kaminsky said. “Being in the NBA it’s just a dream come true.”