Scottie Wilbekin helps drive motivated Magic White squad to victory

The Orlando Magic White squad defeated the Charlotte Hornets 81-68 Wednesday to improve to 3-0 in summer league play.

Orlando outscored Charlotte 20-15 in the first quarter and held the lead for the remainder of the game.

Scottie Wilbekin recorded 15 points, three assists and three rebounds in the win.

The Gainesville native went 5 of 12 from the field including 5 of 8 from beyond the arc.

"It’s cool," Wilbekin said of his return to Central Florida. "I know some people that are here, but you just have to play this game. That’s all that matters."

Wilbekin led Florida to a Final Four appearance and was named SEC Player of the Year before going undrafted in 2014. He spent last season playing for several teams overseas, including Cairns Taipans of the NBL in Australia.

Wilbekin was named the team’s MVP and earned All-NBL first-team honors. He re-signed with the Taipans on July 6 but remains optimistic of his NBA chances.

"I don’t know yet," Wilbekin said of his future. "It’s just kind of a wait-and-see thing. I would love to be on an NBA roster after this, but I’m not really focusing on that. I’m just trying to play the best that I can."

New guy in town

Keith Benson scored a team-best 16 points, including 11 in the first half, and shot 5 of 8 from the field. Benson is averaging 13 points while leading the Magic White — who are composed of unsigned free agents — to a first-place record.

"It’s a good story," Benson said. "We’re all free and trying to get jobs, so it’s a real good story. We’ve been here for a few days practicing, so it’s gone well."

The Magic White squad is the only alternate team in the Orlando Summer League. Head coach Bill Peterson said the players’ mutual hunger for a chance at an NBA spot is a factor in its success.

"It’s really fun," Peterson said. "It’s what basketball is all about. You get some guys that come and they’re really hungry and will sacrifice a little bit of themselves for the good of the group. Obviously, if you can convince them of that it makes the group look great."

The Magic White squad will face the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday at 3 p.m. The Magic Blue squad will also return to action Thursday against the Indiana Pacers at 1 p.m.