Following strong performances at their respective Nike Skill Academies at the end of June, Bobby Portis and Michael Qualls have been invited to attend the LeBron James Skills Academy starting on Wednesday in Las Vegas.
The LeBron James Skills Academy, which features the top 30 collegiate players and top 80 high school players, will run from July 9-12. Allowing players to showcase their skills in front of NBA scouts, media and college coaches, the four-day camp will feature skill workouts and 5-on-5 games each day.
Portis recently made his second trip to the Nike Big Man Skills Academy while Qualls was one of 15 collegiate wings to attend the Kevin Durant Skills Academy in Washington, D.C.
The full roster has not yet been set, but having two invitees to the camp is hopefully an exciting omen of the season to come for Arkansas basketball. The only schools last season to have multiple players at the camp were Ohio State and Michigan.
And, really, if you've got two of the nation's top 30 returning players on your roster, you should make the NCAA Tournament, right? Especially when incoming freshman Anton Beard, one of the high schoolers on the 2013 roster, is joining the Hogs? You'd think so.
Portis finished his rookie campaign with averages of 12.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per night en route to being named to the All-SEC second team and SEC All-Freshmen team while also earning a spot on the USBWA All-District VII team. Portis posted back-to-back double-doubles in the NIT against South Alabama and at California en route to breaking the Arkansas freshman single-season record for rebounds with 230. The three-time SEC Freshman of the Week scored 35 points against Alabama at Bud Walton Arena on Feb. 5, dethroning the 21-year record held by current Director of Student-Athlete Development Scotty Thurman.
Known for his dunking ability that landed him on SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays eight times during the season, Qualls quietly finished his sophomore campaign ranked in the top three on the 22-win team in scoring (11.6), rebounds (4.5), assists (1.9) and three-pointers (42). Qualls made a major jump in 2013-14, increasing his point production by seven points per game while reaching double figures 24 times compared to just five times as a freshman.