Broderick Turner of the Press Enterprise wrote:They were born and raised in Los Angeles, both of them Lakers fans to different degrees. Now they share the same dream of playing for the Lakers.
It will be a long shot for Davon Jefferson or Lorenzo Mata-Real to make the team, but the opportunity presented itself when both were invited to play on LA's summer league team.
For Jefferson, who played at Lynwood High and spent one season at USC, and Mata-Real, a South Gate High grad who played four years at UCLA, this was the chance of a lifetime.
"I'm just trying to compete out here and see what happens," Mata-Real said recently. "My agent set it up all for me. When he said it was the Lakers, that's my team. I'm just grateful for the opportunity."
Jefferson's agent contacted the Lakers as well, and while Davon's first reaction was "OK, I get to stay home," he acknowledged how big it would be to make the team.
"They have a lot of tradition. They have a good fan base," Jefferson said.
Neither player has had an impact in the Lakers' first two games at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.
Mata-Real, a 6-foot-9, 240-pound center when he played at UCLA, went scoreless with four rebounds in 12 minutes in the first game and didn't play in the second. Jefferson, a 6-8 forward, has yet to play.
Jefferson took a chance coming out of college after his freshman season, in which he averaged 12.1 points and 6.3 rebounds. He went undrafted, making him a free agent.
Still, Jefferson claims he has no regrets.
"Not at all. That was my decision," he said. "I still stand by it."
Jefferson played power forward for the Trojans and now is trying to learn how to play on the wing at small forward, no easy transition.
Mata-Real was a reserve for UCLA and really didn't have any designs on getting drafted.
"If I had gotten drafted, it would be a blessing," he said. "I'm going to continue to work hard. I'll just take the hard road in. Hopefully it pays off."
Mata-Real remains realistic about his chances of playing in the NBA.
"I'm thinking about playing in Europe somewhere," he said. "I think Spain would be my first option because of my Spanish blood. I'll know the language."
Good luck. One can't get on the court and the other is the worst player in all of summer league.