Kings sophomore forward Skal Labissiere returned to Haiti for the first time since 2010 on Wednesday.
One day later, he reunited with the man who helped save his life. Labissiere was trapped under rubble in a 2010 earthquake. The man and Skal's father searched through debris before finding the talented hooper.
Labissiere is back in his native country to host a basketball camp from July 19-21. In his rookie year, Labissiere averaged 8.8 points and 4.9 rebounds per game in 18.5 minutes per game.
The Kings selected Labissiere out of Kentucky with the No. 28 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.
The short-handed Sacramento Kings gave the Milwaukee Bucks all they could handle Wednesday night at the Thomas and Mack Center. With De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Harry Giles and Malachi Richardson sitting and Frank Mason going down early, the Kings gutted out a tough win over the Bucks by a final of 69-65. With the victory, Sacramento improved to 1-3 in Summer League and advanced to the round of 16.
-- Skal Labissiere was ready to perform. Through the first three games of Summer League, Labissiere had struggled, averaging just 8.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in 27.3 minutes a night. The second-year big got it going early, scoring 11 of his 19 points in the first quarter. He added nine rebounds, two blocks and three steals in the win.
-- Georgios Papagiannis looked better, but still has a ways to go. The 7-footer out of Greece had his best game of the tournament, finishing the night with 17 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks. On the downside, Papagiannis lost plenty of balls either through lack of concentration or by having smaller players walk in and take it from him. It’s a flaw in his game that NBA players will exploit if he doesn’t improve quickly.
-- Next, next, next man up. Hield is done for the week while the Kings look at other players. Fox missed his first game of Summer League with a stiff ankle. Mason started in his place and lasted all of four minutes before spraining his left ankle. Naz Mitrou-Long and Dominique Hawkins filled in admirably for the Kings, but gave very little statistically.
-- JaKarr Sampson is worth a training camp invite. The 24-year-old small forward out of St. John’s plays with energy and athleticism. After spending time with the Nuggets and 76ers in his first two seasons in the league, the 6-foot-9 wing averaged 15.7 points and 5.3 rebounds a game last season for the Iowa Energy of the G-League. He needs to improve from the perimeter, but his approach to the game is infectious.
-- Like most rookies, Justin Jackson is inconsistent. Jackson has been either hot or cold through four games. Unfortunately for Sacramento, the rookie out of North Carolina hit just 2-of-14 from the field and missed all five of his 3-point shots. He’ll need to get stronger or the 82-game NBA schedule will eat him alive.
LAS VEGAS, NV. -- The Sacramento Kings braved the sweltering Las Vegas heat Sunday evening when they faced off against the Memphis Grizzlies. For the second straight game, they looked every bit the part of a young team trying to figure things out. Memphis used a mixed group of young players and D-League vets to come away with the 81-75 victory and drop Sacramento to 0-2 for the tournament.
-- The Kings featured Skal Labissiere early and he responded with a solid performance. A lot is riding on the development of the second-year big. He was quiet in game one, but posted 13 points on 6-for-12 shooting and chipped in eight rebounds in Sunday's loss to Memphis. Labissiere needs to stay aggressive and demand the ball from his teammates.
-- De’Aaron Fox has some work to do on his free throw stroke. The rookie point guard turned on the jets on numerous occasions and while he didn’t finish on many of them, he drew plenty of fouls. Fox hit just 6-for-12 from the stripe on his way to 17 points, four assists and three steals. He shot 73.9 percent from the line at Kentucky last season, so there is a better free throw shooter hiding in there somewhere.
-- There is no room for Jack Cooley on the big club, but the former Notre Dame banger is fun to watch. He scored an 11-point, 10-rebound double-double in the Kings’ opener and then backed it up with an 11-point, five-rebound performance against Memphis. Certain players have a knack for the ball and Cooley is one of those guys.
-- Justin Jackson struggled. After a big opener, the rookie wing came back to earth Sunday. The 22-year-old out of North Carolina missed all eight of his 3-point attempts, finishing with just four points on 2-for-13 shooting. With Malachi Richardson sitting with a sore hamstring, Jackson is going to get a shot to play big minutes.
-- Frank Mason is adjusting to the speed and size of NBA players. The second-round guard played 19 minutes off the bench for coach Jason March, managing to post up six points on 2-of-10 from the field. Mason broke down the defense and got open looks for his perimeter shooters, but Jackson and Buddy Hield combined to hit just 1-for-13 from long range.