MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Troy Bell has seen it all in his basketball career. From Holy Angels High School to Boston College, to a first-round pick in the NBA to a career overseas.
Because of that, he has perspective and an appreciation for where he’s been.
Bell is spending the summer sharpening his game in the Howard Pulley summer league before he returns to his now hometown team in Italy.
“You can make descent money. I mean, there’s high level and low level. You know, I had a friend that was making $1 million a year and then I had a friend that was making $15,000 a year. So, you know, depending on where you go, it can be a huge, huge difference,” Bell said.
Let’s just say he’s closer to the upper tier, but it could have been more. He was drafted 16th overall in the first round of the 2003 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics.
But he never really got on track after injuries.
“It was still a dream come true. You know, kids on the playground. I mean, we’ve all been doing this since we were little. So it’s a dream come true,” he said. “And looking back on it, you know, I would’ve liked to have been the healthy guy that I remember back then.”
He’s done everything to keep his career viable, including taking up boxing as a way to change his approach.
“At that time I was struggling with some knee injuries,” he said. “It gave me a way to get in shape, great cardio and not put any pressure on my knees, you know, because boxing cardio’s mostly just straight up-and-down running, you know. long, long miles and things like that. So that allowed me to stay athletic and still really swift and crafty.”
The kid from Holy Angels High School has been appreciative of the basketball life that he’s been able to live.
“Just enjoying, I guess you call the twilight, the twilight of my career. I’m 32 now but I still feel young, so I’m just gonna roll it out and see how it goes,” Bell said.