Getting back to basketball
The video doesn't show Dustin Salisbery doing dirty work, passing the ball or playing defense.
It's all pure jumpers; smooth, slashing moves to the basket; and the occasional tip-dunk, set to smooth music.
It's more highlight reel than clinic, and less highlight reel than r'sum'.
Salisbery wants the world to know he can still play ball and, just as important, that he really wants to.
Salisbery, the former McCaskey and Temple University star, has played professionally in France, Germany, Greece, Romania, Mexico, and for the summer versions of the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers.
He was, or is, a 6-5 guard easy to picture in the NBA slam-dunk contest and 3-point shootout. For NBA analogues, think Brooklyn's Joe Johnson, or maybe New Orleans Pelican Eric Gordon.
No, we're not saying he's that good. And we're not glossing over Salisbery's complicated moments, his tendency to drift or disappear during games, the surliness that caused him to refuse to shake hands before or after Lancaster Catholic spanked McCaskey in the 2003 Lan-Leb championship game.
But he's 28 now, a man. He has two sons to take care of. And except for a couple of brief playoff stints for a team in the Dominican Republic and an occasional showcase, he hasn't had a job playing basketball since 2010.
"When something gets taken away from you,'' Salisbery said Wednesday, "and you realize it's something you've done your whole life ... I just really started missing the game.''
Salisbery never formally quit or got fired from pro basketball. He just drifted away from the game in a series of coach firings and parting-of-ways with agents and, in his words, "bad situations.''
"I knew I was a better player than the situations I kept getting in (would indicate),'' he said. "It was always about the business of basketball, not about my ability to play.''
Salisbery spent much of 2012 working at the Abraxas Academy in Morgantown, counseling troubled youths. Last spring he ran into Danny Walck, the current Hempfield coach who's worked with Salisbery in the past, and told him he wanted to talk about some things. They sat down together at a diner and talked about reviving a basketball career.
"I told him I was willing to do what I can,'' Walck said.
Salisbery left the job he enjoyed at Abraxas and went to work on basketball, hitting the gym every day. Walck pushed Salisbery, who has since joined fellow McCaskey grad Jerry Johnson, still playing professionally nearly a decade after leaving Rider University, in work with personal hoop trainer Rich Garcia.
"He's done a tremendous job with it,'' Walck said. "He's moving in the right direction. The thing is, you have to stay ready. When somebody calls, you can't say, I need three weeks, because if you do, they say, 'Next.' "
Salisbery doesn't have an agent anymore. He does have Deron Pressley, the former Hempfield and Millersville guard who now runs a sports promotions agency, The Premier Athlete. Pressley put together the aforementioned video, from footage of Salisbery's college and pro careers and a quote from Marty Blake, the former NBA director of scouting:
"Dustin Salisbery is an NBA player, and you can quote me on that.''
The video has been sent to every NBA team and selected overseas teams and agents. Salisbery said he's gotten emails from four or five agents, some of whom are interested in coming to Lancaster for meetings, and a couple NBA teams -- he didn't want to name them -- interested in taking a look at him over the summer.
Salisbery performed well in a showcase in Philadelphia last summer. In September he attended NBA Developmental League workouts with the Celtics and Lakers, and said he was "arguably the best player there.'' But as a byproduct of parting with his agent, his paperwork didn't get to the NBA offices in time.
"That's why I'm not in the D-league,'' he admitted.
He says he's lost some friends, if that's the right word, who, "thought they were along for the ride. I'm glad (leaving basketball) happened, because otherwise I probably wouldn't have seen it. I have good people around me now.''
That's not the only reason he's glad, in retrospect, that he wasn't in Europe or someplace the last year or so. DeMere is 2, DeMajh 7. His elder son, in particular, is starting to appreciate Dad and his talent.
"Last year, he was really into Disney everything,'' Salisbery said. "Now it's all basketball and football. That's another reason I can't give up on myself.''
Basketball always loved Salisbery.
He's learned to love it back.