Yonkers-born Sean Kilpatrick, 26, went undrafted in 2014, had stints with three different D-League teams in three years and sniffed the NBA with 10-day contracts with three different teams, including his most recent signing with the Brooklyn Nets.
On his second 10-day contract, Kilpatrick is trying to prove that he belongs in the NBA, making the most of his time with Brooklyn, averaging 10.9 points in 18-plus minutes over a 7-game span with the Nets. Trying to stick, however, is something Kilpatrick has been worried about for some time.
He spoke with Brian Lewis of the New York Post about his journey, only to wind up 30-miles from where he grew up, playing in front of a "hometown" crowd in Brooklyn.
"It was fun. To be able to really perform in front of a New York City crowd like that and them giving me that type of ovation … that was special to me. That’s a New York kid’s dream,’’ said Kilpatrick, 26, who spent his first dozen years in Yonkers and starred at White Plains High School.
Kilpatrick has earned minutes with the Nets, who Coach Brown has lauded for showing great "perseverance," "work ethic" and a "relentless pursuit" to prove his worth.
He spoke to Lewis about his struggle with second-guessing himself after going undrafted, but now feels like it was all part of a "plan" to get him to the right place at the right time.
"I’ve been living out of a suitcase the past six months. It’s crazy, man. That’s why when you ask, ‘Do I want to be here [long-term]?’ Like, I’m tired of living out of a suitcase,’’ said Kilpatrick, adding, "I never gave up. I just wanted to make sure I was doing everything right. God had a plan for me: Look where I’m at now."
Coach Brown believes that him being "around the block" and still having that desire to prove his worth is what continues to drive him. And should he continue to play at this level, with Sean Marks getting a good look at Kilpatrick, it might be that he could have found a place where he can settle down and make his own -- a place that's just 30 miles from where his journey began.