Angel Delgado has been a busy man lately.
After representing the Dominican Republic for the third straight year, this time at FIBA AmeriCup 2017, Delgado was invited to the exclusive Elite Student-Athlete Symposium aimed at helping elite NBA Draft eligible athletes “deal with challenges and pit-falls head on,” according to ESPN.
It was Delgado’s first appearance in the AmeriCup tournament and he did not disappoint, going for 17 points and 13 rebounds in a win against Panama.
For Delgado, his appearance in the AmeriCup was not only a successful one production-wise, but a helpful one as well.
“That tournament helped me a lot because they have a lot of professional guys that have been playing for years,” Delgado said. “It really helped me mentally and physically and I really appreciate how everything went.”
Being one of the youngest players in the tournament, Delgado received advice from players from various countries not only about basketball but about how to handle himself off the court as well.
“I was kind of the youngest one there, so everyone came to me and told me how not to do bad in life,” Delgado said. “How to be a professional in college and how you have to act, all of that stuff. That’s why I enjoy going to these tournaments, they’re really helpful.”
After the AmeriCup concluded, Delgado took a trip to Indianapolis to attend the Elite-Student Athlete symposium, which was the first of its kind.
Not only was the symposium groundbreaking, but only a small group was selected to take part. Delgado was one of 19 NBA Draft-eligible players invited to the symposium, where they learned how to deal with certain issues that they will face as they pursue professional basketball careers.
Out of all of the issues discussed at the symposium, it was the topic of dealing with the media that left a long-lasting impression on Delgado, and how one mistake can ruin everything.
“The media stuff impressed me a little bit,” Delgado said. “A lot of people messed up their life with one tweet, that really got me because it’s really serious. Now these days, social media is unbelievable. Your whole career can go so easily from social media, so I took a lot of stuff away.”
While the symposium was undoubtedly a serious learning experience for all of the players in attendance, there was still some fun to be had.
At night, all of the players took part in pick-up games, ones that Delgado feels featured the best players in the country.
“I think the guys who were there, for me are the top players in the country right now,” Delgado said. “It was cool, man. There were players from the Big East, there were four other Big East guys there and it was all cool and all friendly.”
Delgado wound up on the pick-up team with all of the other Big East players, including Villanova’s Jalen Brunson, Xavier’s Trevon Bluiett and Butler’s Kelan Martin. The group well-represented the conference in the pick-up games, according to Delgado, as they were able to win a handful of games.
“Of course,” Delgado said when asked if they won. “We lost one game and won like six.”
Despite the craziness of the last couple of weeks, that has not stopped Delgado from preparing to make the most of his final season as a Pirate.
“I still go every day to the gym,” Delgado said. “Think about it, it’s my last year. I can’t say, ‘Oh I’m going to have another year.’ This is the last one, it’s over, and I think I have to really enjoy and prepare for it.”
Tyler Calvaruso can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @tyler_calvaruso.