College Park Skyhawks laying foundation for bright future

The College Park Skyhawks had a great developmental season for many of their young players.
Atlanta Hawks rookie Seth Lundy guarding Ja Morant
Atlanta Hawks rookie Seth Lundy guarding Ja Morant / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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G League regulars have been invaluable to College Park’s culture

While Atlanta’s assignment players and two-way hoopers gave the Skyhawks an extra boost – especially in the scoring department – G League regulars served as the glue that held College Park together. 

From Chris Silva and his stoic leadership at the center position to rookie Jarkel Joiner and his contagious energy as a perimeter defender, the Skyhawks leaned on a combination of vets and rooks playing on G League deals. Like Joiner, fellow rookie Miles Norris provided consistent excellence on the defensive end. Norris started all of his 29 regular-season contests and shot 38.3% from three.

Meanwhile, G League veteran Jordan Bowden notched 17.2 points per game on 48.6% shooting from downtown. Bowden came in and gave the Skyhawks a much-needed jolt on offense midway through the season.

Joiner recently talked to Soaring Down South about the NBA players that inspire him on defense. The NC State product fully bought into College Park’s defensive culture from the start of the season, guarding the perimeter like a pitbull every night.

"Patrick Beverley and Jrue Holiday. Those two for sure … Just learning little techniques they’ve got, trying to be the best I can be."

Jarkel Joiner

Schmidt made sure to shout out his G League regulars for how they helped the organization thrive from top to bottom.

"A big part of what we’re doing is the guys that you see here … It’s the guys that aren’t Hawks affiliate players, but they’re a big part of what we’ve built from a foundational and culture standpoint."

Ryan Schmidt

Although the Skyhawks missed out on this year’s playoffs, they have set the stage for future Hawks rookies and two-way players to thrive and improve their defensive skills with one of the most disciplined organizations in the G League. 

All things considered, the future seems brighter than ever for College Park.