Blackman, 23, played at Leo High School and now stocks shelves at a supermarket on the South Side. League officials invited the 6-foot-1-inch point guard as one of 30 players who submitted videos off Miller Lite's Go Pro Challenge.
Blackman, who never played college basketball, represents the longest of long shots. He's in stark contrast to, say, fellow Chicagoan Marcus White, who played with Ben Gordon as UConn won the 2004 NCAA title, and then transferred to Purdue.
Still, Blackman is already beaming at the memory of a town car picking him up and driving him to O'Hare on Friday and at traveling outside Chicago alone for the first time.
"That's why this is a great experience no matter what happens," the thoughtful, soft-spoken Blackman says. "I was telling one of my friends that it's not a bad idea to travel more, broaden your horizons."
Some players already have found their dreams.
Bulls killer Mikki Moore, who recently signed a three-year, $18 million deal with the Kings, dominated for the D-League's Roanoke Dazzle in 2002-03. He's here as the camp's honorary spokesman.
"Some of these guys can go astray and get discouraged real quickly," Moore says. "I'm trying to let them know that I had to go through the same thing and I got to where I am. It's time to give back."
It's also time for Moore's advice to a scrawny, 6-foot-3-inch, over-the-hill reporter.
"Take your time," he says. "You ain't got to be in a rush."
Given my quickness level, or lack thereof, that won't be a problem. Moore watches as Jaren Jackson gathers us into a pregame huddle.
"Win on three," he says.
My first jumper is uglier than a Lindsay Lohan mug shot. Luckily, Jerome Jackson, who plays way larger than his 6-5 frame, is a beast down low -- steady, perseverant, relentless. Donielle Davis, a quiet scorer from South Carolina, is equally impressive.
When I hit my first basket, a garbage put-back, I'm tempted to pull a Corey Benjamin. The former Bulls first-round pick used to run downcourt with his index finger aloft after hitting a jumper to pull Tim Floyd's woeful teams within 30.
But there's no need. We're up big. And Jaren Jackson is howling on the sidelines, shouting out "Chicago," his nickname for me, over and over.
Saturday, 3 p.m.
Some players have tasted their dreams briefly and want more.
Melvin Levett was known as "The Helicopter" during his dunk-filled dominance for the University of Cincinnati. The Pistons took him in the second round of the 1999 NBA draft and traded him to the Lakers.