Three undrafted Bay Area college stars will get a second chance to impress the pros after signing to play in next month's NBA summer leagues.
Cal guards Jerome Randle and Patrick Christopher and Saint Mary's center Omar Samhan will play five summer games each at either Las Vegas or Orlando, Fla.
Randle, who became the first Pac-10 Player of the Year bypassed in the NBA draft, confirmed he will play for the Orlando Magic in the Orlando summer league, beginning next Monday against Indiana. Randle could be reunited with former Cal teammate Ryan Anderson, who's beginning his third season in the NBA.
Christopher signed a summer deal with the Detroit Pistons and will debut July 9 against the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers in the Las Vegas summer circuit. He'll face the Warriors a day later.
Samhan, a San Ramon Valley High grad and one of the stars during Saint Mary's trip to the NCAA tournament's Sweet 16, landed with the Dallas Mavericks and will suit up for the first time July 9 against Denver in Las Vegas.
Randle averaged 18.6 points and 4.3 assists in leading Cal to its first Pac-10 championship in 50 years. He was named MVP of the Portsmouth Invitational predraft tournament, then was snubbed by the more prestigious Chicago camp, which did not offer him a spot.
Randle, whose 5-foot-9 stature was considered his biggest drawback, watched 60 other names called on draft night.
Samhan, despite averaging 21.3
"After the draft, I felt like I was drowning, and I was really upset," Samhan said in a statement released by Saint Mary's. "Dallas feels like a life vest for me."
Christopher, who averaged 15.6 points for Cal as a senior, said he had a good predraft workout with the Pistons and likes their organization.
"Every time you step on the floor, it presents an opportunity for you to play at the next level," he said in a phone interview. "I'm going out there to compete and play hard. I'm going in there with an open mind and open heart and to have fun."
A summer-league contract is no guarantee a player will earn a permanent roster spot. Summer squads typically are composed of drafted and free-agent rookies, along with some regular roster players. Stars rarely participate.
"I'm really licking my chops, with the opportunity to play against the guys that got drafted," Samhan said. "I want to prove to the NBA teams that passed on me that they were wrong."