San Antonio Spurs draftee Ryan Richards has made great strides in his basketball career.
After he recovered from shoulder surgery, he displayed a well-rounded game at Great Britain's U20 tournament and what came next, was truly a larger step in his development. He was asked to join Great Britain's senior men's squad - a testament to his on-the-court skills and maturity.
And although he didn't make the final squad for Eurobasket 2011, there is not doubt the Spurs have a prospect with tremendous upside. Something the Spurs recognize according to Richard's former Kent Crusaders coach, Jesse Sazant.
"There's no doubt that the Spurs have heavily invested in him and are very serious about him and it's down to him to take the opportunity.
"He can be an established NBA player and that's the ultimate accolade."
There is no doubt Richards will be representing Great Britain at the London 2012 games at the rate his basketball skills are progressing. And Great Britain Basketball performance director Chris Spice also echos this sentiment.
"Ryan has had a great summer with British Basketball starting back in June with the under-20 programme.
"His great performances there and at the front of the senior camp meant he was still in the mix to the very end which is a credit to his effort.
"If he continues to improve on the little things in his game then he will have a lengthy international basketball career. We look forward to seeing him progress and we wish him well."
Indeed many are looking forward to seeing Richards progress into the player the Spurs project what he can be when they selected him in the draft. And for Spurs fans, they hope he will have a lengthy basketball career in the NBA wearing the black and silver.
Praises will NOT make R. Richards a better player. Its actual exposure in the nba that will. Why does it take years before the spurs take a chance in a guy? Every year young college players and euro players enter the draft so every year all the nba teams have a chance ro discover which player fit their system. Unless, the spurs takes that chance it will take eternity before they find another Duncan. R. Richards could be that guy or E. Lorbek or K. Fesenko or anybody else who stands 6'10" or taller. Again, please spurs give it a try and 6'7" or shorter players will NOT answer your problems.