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Ex-Utah State guard among 17 hopefuls attending Raptors camp

Of course there are moments of frustration and despair as the dream keeps getting further and further away.

Of course there are moments of frustration and despair as the dream keeps getting further and further away.

Of course there are doubts that creep into the mind and questions that arise about whether it’s all worth it.

But there stands Jaycee Carroll, taking another shot, trying to defy the odds of opportunity and age to get the one thing he’s wanted almost his entire life — a job in the NBA.

Carroll, along with 16 other free agents and itinerant pros from Europe and the North American minor leagues, have just wound up at a weekend Raptors camp at the Air Canada Centre, trying to take the next step on an improbable journey.

“It’s definitely a difficult and stressful situation going year to year not knowing exactly where you’ll be or what you’ll be doing, but in the long run it’s a dream come true,” said the 27-year-old Carroll, who played the last two seasons in Spain.

The best any of the players can legitimately expect out of the camp is a spot on the team the Raptors will take to the Las Vegas summer league next month. But a spot there and an impressive performance could land a berth at the full training camp in October and all Carroll wants is that kind of shot.

Carroll’s pursuit of his NBA dream has been all-encompassing. He said he’s been to three mini-camps, played on “five or six” summer league teams (including Toronto’s three summers ago) and had tryout sessions with “17 or 18 different teams.”

“There’s been a couple (of invitations turned down) but pretty much if I’m invited, I say yes and I come up and play my hardest because with all the people here in the organization, you never know where they’ll be the next season and maybe an opportunity will open up on a different team,” he said.

 
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