MISSOULA – Former University of Montana point guard Will Cherry has agreed to a two-year deal with the Toronto Raptors of the NBA.
“It really hasn’t hit me yet,” Cherry told KECI-TV on Thursday, and he said it may not “until it’s time for me to actually pick out a jersey number.”
Cherry played for the Canton Charge in the NBA Developmental League during the 2013-14 season, averaging 11.6 points and nearly four rebounds per game.
He played for the Cleveland Cavaliers during the NBA Summer League and averaged 12.8 points, four rebounds and three assists in five games in Las Vegas. He twice scored 21 points. In one of those games, he had 14 fourth-quarter points to help Cleveland to an 82-70 win over San Antonio.
The Oakland, California, native says signing with an NBA team has been his dream and he hopes to represent Montana and the Grizzlies well.
“It’s big for me, but it’s also big for the city (of Missoula) and state of Montana,” Cherry said. “I’m just trying to represent the Griz and make a lot of people proud. I know it started with the summer league. Griz fans, they travel everywhere. They’re everywhere, you know, so I can’t escape them — and I don’t want to escape them. What I’m doing right now is definitely much bigger than me. So I’m happy to represent the 406 (area code) in a great fashion, in a great way in the NBA.”
Cherry helped Montana to back-to-back Big Sky Conference championships and consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament.
He will be in Los Angeles working with Raptors personnel this week and will participate in an NBA camp starting Aug. 10 in Las Vegas.
Cherry will be the first former Griz player to play in the NBA since Larry Krystkowiak, the current Utah men’s basketball coach who was drafted in 1986.