Today we continue our NBA 2K League 2020 Draft prospect series by speaking with Austin, TX native Bernard "Tuck" Tucker.
Tucker didn't start out looking to make his way to the NBA 2K pro-ranks. He actually was a star football player in Austin.
"Growing up football was and still is my passion," said Tucker. "I went to LBJ high school in Austin, Texas where I was a standout football player.After high school I played JUCO football at Hartnell Junior College one of the best football junior colleges in California."
Tucker would eventually find his way back to Austin to play for Division II's McMurray and now finds himself at possibly making it to the NBA 2K League.
In this Q&A, Tucker talks about his pro-am experience, why he belongs in the NBA 2K League, coming up short in past combines and more.
Jeff: Define what it means to grind in the pro am level.
Tucker: To define the “Grind” is easier said than done. Starting with NBA 2K16, the real dream began. I was playing with my brothers from high school I was hooked and the grind started. Now in 2019, I’m one of the most recognized faces in the community and the most outspoken. I've gain notoriety and respect around the league.
Jeff: You reached out to Mavs Gaming folks. Why was that important to you?
Tucker: It was most important to build that connection because I’m a Texas boy first. When it’s a home town team we always represent the hardest! Besides that, I heard nothing but great things about the head coach and knew him from the early starts of MPBA along with the Nets Gaming head coach. I formed a connection with them. Not to mention Mavs Gaming's Dimez and Wizard Gaming's Dayfri are my guys so it’s always been love!
Jeff: What does becoming a pro-player mean to you?
Tucker: I could go with the basic answer and say it’ll mean the world to me and that it’s a honor and privilege.
But honestly I’ve been putting in the work marketing myself. Building an image. Learning the community and putting in the time and effort to become a professional without being paid for it! Now it’s my time and I deserve and earned the right to hear my name called in the season three draft.
Jeff: Did you ever come close to moving from your goal of the NBA 2K League?
Tucker: This is a great question because going into season two, I had it all. The networking, media promotion, the great play, contending and beating great teams. I was building a relationship with community leaders and to be ruled ineligible because of the application deadline crushed me for season two. I was hearing around the league that if I was able to perform in the combine I would be a lock to make it.
Unfortunately things didn’t go as planned and I couldn’t play in the combine thus making me ineligible to continue. I was offered a opportunity along with a couple others in the area, to go to the Mavs Gaming facility and to play my combine games at the facility but I couldn’t accept. I instead persevered and have continue my dream for season three.
Jeff: Why should an NBA 2K League team select you in the next draft?
Tucker: I have the mental edge that can back up any type of talk at the highest level. Being marketable and bringing in revenue for the league is something I’m enthusiastic for. You're going to get your popcorn ready for every game. Failure is not an option.
San Antonio Spurs fans can catch the latest with the NBA 2K League HERE.