Omar Reed Joins the Austin Toros
Former BC basketball player Omar Reed talks about joining the Austin Toros.
November 18, 2011
Former Bluefield College basketball player Omar Reed was selected in the fourth round of the NBA Development League draft by the Austin Toros, an affiliate of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs.
Reed, a 2010 BC alumnus from Tazewell, Va., listened to the Nov. 3 draft in hopes of hearing his named called.
Reed during his time at Bluefield College
“I was actually just sitting on the edge of the bed listening to it as they announced the selections and watching the screen roll through,” said Reed. “It was just pure excitement listening to the audio and hearing them say, ‘The Austin Toros have selected Omar Reed.’ Just hearing my name, I was just ecstatic.”
Reed, a versatile 6-foot-6 player, said he feels blessed to have this opportunity after growing up playing basketball in a small town.
“Where I’m from in Tazewell, Va., as far as athletes, we never really had many. On the basketball aspect, I’ve made it the furthest. It’s a great achievement for me. It’s humbling, too. Just pure excitement and I’m happy that all my hard work has paid off so far.”
As a student-athlete at BC, Reed helped lead the men’s basketball team to four winning seasons while averaging almost 14 points per game and more than 8 rebounds per game in his career. In 2010, Reed was selected as the Appalachian Athletic Conference player of the year, averaging a double-double with 16.2 points and 11.1 rebounds.
He said developing his basketball skills when he was a student at BC helped him become the player he is today.
“In basketball, you’ve got to be able to adjust to anything that comes your way,” said Reed. “Coming through Bluefield, it’s so small, but we played some [NCAA Division I] schools, so we had to adjust to a different feel of the game.
“I was always undersized as a post player at Bluefield. I was always matched up against guys that were 6-foot-8 or 6-foot-9, but I had to adjust and just play how I know how to play. Bluefield was a nice stepping stone and I appreciate everyone that was there showing support for me.”
After his career finished at Bluefield, Reed moved to Europe and played a season in the semi-professional English Basketball League for the Medway Park Crusaders. As the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, he helped lead the team to its first championship in club history.
“I got a warm reception and everyone appreciated what I was doing for the team,” said Reed. “It’s a different style of play. The game is a little quicker. You have to be very aware or have knowledge of certain aspects of the game. It made me smarter. It allowed me to work on different things while I traveled the world and experienced different things. It was just a pure blessing.”
Reed is currently in Austin working out and preparing for training camp and the preseason.
“They are having volunteer workouts and my point is that I need to do anything I can to make an impact,” said Reed.
Over the coming weeks, Reed will be playing to show the Toros that he is deserving of a spot on their roster. After the preseason ends, the 17 players that were invited to training camp will be cut down to the final 10 roster spots.
“My thought process right now is to give all the effort I can,” said Reed. “I’m very determined. I feel that people are judging me off my school recognition and my school name: Bluefield College. Nobody knows where it is, who it is, or what state it’s in.
“A lot of this stuff in the basketball world, people judge off where you come from. I’ve always been told it’s not where you’re from, but where you’re going. With that said, I’m just going to go in and show them who I am and show them what I’m capable of.”
In selecting Reed, the Toros get a player who is versatile and can bring many strong aspects to the court. Reed has deep range as a shooter, good vision as a passer, and strength and athleticism as a rebounder and defender.
However, the biggest thing Reed brings as a player is a proven ability to win.
“[Winning] is something I’ve done, not by myself, but over my career,” said Reed. “When I was at Bluefield, as a team and myself individually, we were able to accumulate  wins over my four-year career. When I went to United Kingdom, playing for Medway Park, we won our championship and I was able to there and help out with that as the team’s leading scorer and rebounder.”
Reed is looking to bring his own personal winning tradition with him to the Toros.
“Just knowing how to win coming into Austin and making it possible with them, I want to get them up there to where they want to be as a team and also achieve my individual accolades.”
Reed is determined to continue following his professional basketball dreams.
“I’m not there to make friends,” said Reed. “This is my goal. This is my dream. It’s not playtime. It’s all seriousness.”