Jarvis Varnado injured himself at one of the most unfortunate times for any athlete, during a tryout. In fact, Varnado suffered a hip strain before he even had the chance to perform in the tryout for Philadelphia back on January 13.
Now, Varnado told DLeagueDigest.com that he’s aiming to return this week, maybe as soon as tomorrow’s game against Sioux Falls at home.
Varnado is a top notch defender, and perhaps the most dominant big man in the entire NBA D-League. Before his injury, Varnado averaged 14.2 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 5.0 blocks in 32.7 minutes. After his 19 games with the Energy this season, Varnado earned an NBA D-League All-Star honor as voted on by the coaches in the league.
According to Varnado, he’s ready to get back to his dominate ways. “I’m coming along in the process, I feel really good. This was the first time that I had to miss any games during a season in my career, so it’s been an adjustment for me. The staff has done a great job in getting me back and going though.”
The tryout in Philadelphia and subsequent 10-day contract went to another impressive big man Dewayne Dedmon. However, the 76ers recently let Dedmon go. Leading up to the tryout back in mid-January, Varnado liked his chances.
“I was feeling really good, I didn’t have a chance to actually tryout which was unfortunate. I had played the night before against RGV and had a triple-double (14 points, 16 rebounds, 10 blocks), so I was feeling it at that time.” Varnado said.
Both Varnado and Dedmon will take part in All-Star weekend as representatives of the NBA D-League. In a league that’s been filled with eye-popping offensive performances thus far, traditional big men such as Varnado and Dedmon remain unique and highly desired by NBA teams.
When asked if Varnado is thinking about setting any D-League records of his own, Varnado responded, “It usually doesn’t cross my mind. I just do things that help my team win games, but Pierre has certainly been lights out. I know I can impact a game another way, so I’m going to stay in my lane and keep helping my team win games.”
With a five blocks per game average, it’s certainly logical to think Varnado could ultimately set another NBA D-League record before the season ends, that’s if he doesn’t receive a Call-Up before then.
NBA teams have been inquiring about Varnado, and interest is still there. With the unique and dominant skill set which Varnado possesses, future NBA teams in need of a post presence will likely need to look no further than Varnado.