Star guard gets closer to pro possibility

Denzel Livingston’s basketball career is over at the University of the Incarnate Word but he got a rare opportunity earlier this month to perform at one of the top NBA predraft camps.

The 6-foot-4 star guard from Houston, who was among the nation’s leading scorers in the 2014-15 season, participated April 8-11 in the Portsmouth (Va.) Invitational Tournament.

He received an invitation after UIW’s men’s team fell 83-68 on March 16 to the University of Louisiana-Lafayette’s Ragin’ Cajuns in the CollegeInsider.com tournament, the first Division I tournament game in school history. The game was played at Alice McDermott Convocation Center.

Livingston, a business major who came to UIW from Waltrip High School in Houston, led the Cardinals to an 18-11 record in the regular season. He averaged 21.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.6 steals per game. He was among the top five scorers in the nation and ranked in the top 10 in steals per game. He set a school record with 74 steals in the season. He scored at least 30 points six times during the season and set school records for free throws made and attempted.
Livingston finished his career ranked in the top five in school history in 10 different statistical categories. He accumulated 1,716 points, 537 rebounds, 151 three-pointers, 475 free throws made, 297 assists, 214 steals and 128 blocks.
Along the way this season, he collected numerous awards and received several accolades, which apparently led to his Portsmouth invitation.

In an online video interview about the pro camp with UIW’s Shane Meling, assistant athletic director/sports information director, Livingston said he played a couple of games, one where he shot 14 points and got four steals, and another where he shot 18 points.

After his performances he talked with scouts from the Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder and Boston Celtics.

Since the scouts weren’t that familiar with him, Livingston said, they asked him more about his personal background, where he’s from, his strengths and weaknesses. He told them every player can improve on defense.

Now that he’s back, “I’m still doing workouts with my trainers and waiting for teams to contact my agent for individual workouts.”

But the main memory for him was getting a chance to play with guys from other conferences and even bigger schools who had competed in the NCAA’s Big Dance such as Xavier and Villanova. And letting people know more about the University of the Incarnate Word.

“I liked I could show a lot of people I could play. Nobody knew who I really was, what school I was from. Everybody got to know who Denzel Livingston was. I played with a chip on my shoulder. They know what UIW stands for now. This camp only invites the top 64 seniors in the world and I was one of them.”

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