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Penn State Basketball: Tim Frazier Enjoying Journey During Young NBA Career

by on June 02, 2015 6:00 AM

Standing in the middle of the fairway on the second hole, Tim Frazier looked down a wedge shot just inside 120 yards. A few moments later, the ball landed firmly on the green some 20-feet from the hole.

A small twirl of the club followed as Frazier headed back to his cart. For someone who hadn't played golf since taking a class on it over a year earlier the result could have been far worse.

Surprisingly, Frazier never planned on even golfing that day. His appearance at Penn State's Coaches Vs. Cancer event was supposed to be simply that; an appearance. Say a few hellos, catch up with a few familiar faces. But no golf.

And yet, like so many twists and turns in Frazier's career he found himself facing another unexpected obstacle. This time it was getting through 18 fairways and greens between the start and the end of his day as he acted as a fill-in after an unexpected absence in Pat Chambers' charity foursome.

Frazier has made a career out of handling the unexpected. In the past year he has been associated with three NBA teams, all while taking home the D-League MVP and Rookie of The Year honors. He set small but noteworthy rookie debut records. He went from one of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference to a playoff team in the Western Conference.

So there isn't much he hasn't seen.

"It's been awesome, it's been a dream come true," Frazier said. "You know, as a kid growing up you always want to make it to the NBA, and you know how tough it is. A lot of ups and downs to get here but it has been great, I wouldn't change anything about it, from the D-League to all the teams to being cut, all that kind of stuff, it was great."

Even the every changing scenery is okay with Frazier. When you've worked your entire life for the chance to play at this level, it doesn't matter where. It just matters that you are. While draft hopefuls contemplate the value of being a Top 5 or Top 10 pick, Frazier is happy to be playing, happy to be in the same league.

To be sure, Frazier isn't just along for the ride. He has put in too much work and overcome too much for this to be a quick career. But with injuries and obstacles come an appreciation for the moment. He's enjoying the view on his way up the mountain. 

"It hasn't been a whirlwind, I'm a kid man, 24 years old living the dream, I'm in the NBA." Frazier added. "Regardless of wherever you're at, I love the game of basketball, I've been playing it my whole life and to still be able to do that in different aspects for different teams and win awards and be a part of brotherhoods with different teams, that's awesome I wouldn't change it for the world."

From here Frazier will return to Portland. It's the latest fortunate turn of events in what has been a very nomadic start to his career. The Trailblazers are seemingly high on the former Nittany Lion's potential and will keep him for the foreseeable future. Frazier will get the opportunity to grow with a young Portland team, alongside All-Star guard Damian Lillard.

So for Frazier, going back to Portland is a chance to have a home in the NBA, something he is happy to have. With Portland committed to his services through Summer League and training camp, Frazier has never been in a better position to make an NBA roster on a more permanent basis.

Even if it doesn't work out, to think that Frazier has gone from an achilles injury that sidelined him during the 2012-13 season to a player with a viable shot to make the roster of a rising Western Conference franchise is nothing if not extraordinary.

"Growing up I've been saying that I wanted to play in the NBA, and to be able to put that jersey on and to walk out of that tunnel and play in front of all those fans in Portland and in Philadelphia was amazing." Frazier said.

"I'm a kid in a candy store, I'm living a great life and I'm truly blessed and happy for everything that has happened to me, all the ups and downs it has prepared me for this life and I'm just looking forward to the future."

And judging by his drive on the third hole, that future won't be found on the PGA tour.


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Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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