In his final NBA Summer League appearance in July, Tyler Wilkerson had an opportunity to leave a lasting impression.
The former Marshall basketball star needed to remind NBA personnel - the roster decision-makers - of his presence. Emphatically, if possible.
So, in a move that he made seem almost routine, Wilkerson took a pass from San Antonio Spurs teammate Alonzo Gee, elevated and dunked over 7-foot-3 Hasheem Thabeet with one hand.
As Wilkerson slammed the ball through the basket, Thabeet, the second overall pick in 2009, had to pick himself off the court at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.
"I'm on a mission," Wilkerson said in a phone interview Monday from San Antonio, where he is working out in hopes of parlaying his summer performance into a full-time roster spot with the Spurs.
"I'm out here working, doing everything I can to make this team."
That showed in San Antonio's five Summer League games.
He averaged 11 points and 6.6 rebounds, shot 54 percent from the field and made 9-of-10 free throws. Against Thabeet's Grizzlies, the 6-foot-8, 240-pound Wilkerson concluded his five-game stint with 10 points, six boards and four steals. Two games earlier, he scored 20 points and had nine rebounds against the Los Angeles Lakers. In that game he was matched up with two familiar faces: former UTEP star Derrick Caracter, and West Virginia's Devin Ebanks.
The Spurs went 5-0. Wilkerson averaged 23 minutes and started three of the five wins.