Lojeski running with the Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks "opened the door."
Now Matt Lojeski is sticking around for a while.
The former Hawaii guard turned an invitation to practice with the Bucks' summer squad into a trip to Las Vegas, where he's playing in the NBA Summer League this week.
Lojeski, playing in a summer league for the second time, scored seven points in both of his first two games with his hometown Bucks.
He hit two 3-pointers in 12 minutes in Milwaukee's 88-79 loss to Memphis last Saturday. He played 15 minutes against Detroit on Tuesday, going 2-for-3 from the field and 3-for-5 from the line while swiping three steals in a 73-59 win.
"I'm a lot more comfortable (this year)," said Lojeski, who played with the Utah Jazz in the Rocky Mountain Revue last summer. "I know what to expect. I understand that you're only going to play a certain amount of time and they have players they're going to give more time to, especially draft picks. So you have to be ready at all times to come in."
The summer league, which primarily features NBA teams' younger players and free agents looking to impress scouts, continues today with the Bucks taking on the Denver Nuggets. Milwaukee closes out the week against Minnesota on Saturday and Cleveland on Sunday.
Lojeski is coming off his first season of professional basketball in Belgium, where he averaged 15 points for Generali Okapi Aalstar.
He was relaxing at home in Racine, Wis., after finishing the 10-month grind in Europe and was planning to rejoin Utah for the Rocky Mountain Revue.
But his agent contacted the Bucks, who then invited him to participate in a week of practices leading up to the summer league. He played well enough to earn the trip to Las Vegas, where he's already matched up with such high-profile players as Memphis' O.J. Mayo, the third pick in last month's draft, and Detroit's Arron Afflalo.
Although Lojeski is playing for the Bucks, the league represents a chance to audition before scouts from around the NBA and Europe.
"Anytime you put on that jersey you know you're going up against the best competition and it pushes you to get better as a player," said Lojeski, who grew up a Bucks fan. "It's always good to come to these, even if you don't make it, it'll make you better in the long run."
Among his current teammates is a former nemesis in Ramon Sessions, who played at Nevada.
"We talked about the game in Nevada where Ahmet (Gueye) made the and-one and (the officials) took it away," Lojeski said, referring to UH's controversial 69-68 loss in Reno in 2007. "I think he really knows it was the wrong call. Deep down inside he knows, he just doesn't want to admit it."
Iolani graduate Derrick Low is playing for the Dallas Mavericks in the summer league and went scoreless in 7-plus minutes in Dallas' 93-71 win over the Sacramento Kings yesterday.
The Mavs close their run in the tournament today against Detroit and head north to open play in the Rocky Mountain Revue tomorrow against Atlanta.