By: Daniel Massa – Sports Editor
Jordan Sibert played for the Dayton Flyers men’s basketball team from 2013-15 after transferring from Ohio State. He left the Dayton program as one of only two transfers to score 1,000 points in a Dayton uniform, finishing his career with 1,030 points.
Now, Sibert is three games into his NBA preseason career with the Orlando Magic.
“I’m adjusting to it,” Sibert said after the Magic’s game Thursday night in Indianapolis against the Indiana Pacers, a 97-92 Pacers win. “It’s been an adjustment period. But to be a kid who always wanted to play in the NBA, and now I’m here, it’s definitely been a dream come true and a blessing, and I love every moment of it.”
Sibert had his first NBA experience in this summer’s Orlando Summer League, a place where teams are able to give its younger players and new draft picks a chance to get their feet wet in the NBA game. Teams usually sign other young players or players who have played overseas to fill out the rosters.
The Magic gave Sibert, who went undrafted in the 2015 NBA draft, a summer league roster spot on one of its two teams, and he made the most of it.
After not playing in the first two games, he made an appearance in each of the last three and never scored less than seven points. He led the Magic’s blue squad in scoring in its last summer league game, also against the Pacers, when he scored 18 points, hitting 5-of-7 three-pointers and all three of his free throws.
He finished the summer league averaging 11.3 points per game, third on the team behind two former top five NBA draft picks, Aaron Gordon and Mario Hezonja.
“My number was called, and I was able to play pretty well the last three games,” Sibert said. “[I have the] same mentality here. You just focus on what you need to do and stay positive and don’t let any negativity bring you down.”
He impressed the Magic enough to earn a training camp contract with the team, and he has played in each of the team’s first three preseason games.
Sibert had played only in the 2nd half of the first two games, but entered last night’s game in the first quarter with 5:29 remaining. He stayed in the game for the remainder of the corner.
“It felt good,” Sibert said. “It’s good to have the confidence from your teammates and coaching staff to be able to know that they can put you in early and keep believing in you.”
According to the Magic’s official website, Sibert is one of five players potentially fighting for one open roster spot. He will compete with Keith Appling, Nnanna Egwu, Melvin Ejim and Greg Stiemsma if the team decides to carry the maximum of 15 players on their roster to start the season. He was one of three of those players to play last night, and played the second-most minutes among the three.
The Magic have five preseason games remaining before the regular season begins on Oct. 28.
Sibert isn’t letting himself get preoccupied with what his future may hold.
“You’ve got to just focus on the present, focus on [going] day-by-day,” Sibert said. “It’s easy to kind of be on a rollercoaster here and go up and down.”
He has not forgotten his time as a Dayton Flyer. In fact, he still finds himself thinking about his last game in a Dayton uniform, and the Flyers loss to Oklahoma in the second round of the NCAA tournament last season, as well as the Flyer faithful back at UD Arena.
“Just [want to say] thank you for all the support over the years that I was there,” Sibert said to the fans back in Dayton. “[I’m] definitely going to be back to check out a game too, just excited to [help] keep the home winning streak alive.”
The Magic play next on Sunday in Texas against the Houston Rockets.