Sport can be a brutal business, but for young basketballer Rio Bruton, it’s also rich in possibilities for family redemption.

The 17-year-old is the son of former Adelaide 36ers coach CJ Bruton, who was sacked by the NBL club less than a year ago, after a run of poor form.

But that experience has in no way deterred Rio, who is among a batch of budding hopefuls battling for development contracts with the 36ers ahead of the next NBL season.

Bruton has been keen to make an impression during the tryouts.(ABC News: Nyome)

Under the watchful eye of Scott Ninnis, who succeeded CJ as 36ers coach and is himself a favourite son of the club, Rio and fellow whiz-kids have been keen to make an impression.

They’ve been taking part in pre-season trials, where players are competing for the chance to secure a spot on the development roster.

“Me and the Sixers, like, I love this organisation, as well as they love me,” Rio said in a break at the trials.

“I’m very fortunate to be a part of them.

“I feel like it’s all mutual.”

Bruton’s love of the club is undiminished.(ABC News: Nyome)

Up to four deals are on offer, and the development trials are being overseen by Ninnis, who is keen to see what the versatile young shooter can offer.

“He’s not here cause he’s a Bruton — he’s here on his own merits as a basketballer,” Ninnis said.

“It’s exciting to see him. I know CJ would be proud of the basketballer he’s becoming and will become.”

Ninnis has been keeping close watch on proceedings, ahead of a trip to the US in search of imports.(ABC News: Nyome)

There’s another familiar surname among those at the tryouts, with Micale Mee also jostling for a spot.

The 23-year-old arrived in Adelaide a month ago to play in the state NBL1 competition with a single aim in mind.

“The goal is to try to make it onto NBL roster, so the NBL1 was the first step,” he said.

Darnell Mee was a much lauded import in the Adelaide’s 1998/99 championship victory and recently returned for the 25th anniversary.

Micale Mee also has a distinguished family connection to the club.(ABC News: Nyome)

Micale was born in Adelaide, but left Australia when he was aged eight and honed his basketball skills back in Kentucky with his dad.

He was thrilled to hear Micale may wear the 36ers colours.

“He was happy, of course having one of his old teammates being the coach and some of the same guys in the organisation,” he said.

It’s a cutthroat process to earn a contract, but one player with less to lose is 18-year-old Alex Dodson.

Alex Dodson is a talented basketballer and footballer, and is a ruckman with the South Australian under-18 side.(ABC News: Nyome)

He has been starring as a ruckman for South Australia in the national under-18 football titles and is a hot tip to be drafted to the AFL later this year — if he chooses football, that is.

“Ultimately I just think it will come down to what I want to do and what I’m having more fun in and what I think I can make more a career out of,” Dodson admitted.

Ninnis will be only too happy to give him a nudge towards the hoops, rather than the goalposts.

“He’s obviously doing phenomenally well in footy [but] he trained with us for a fair portion of last year,” he said.

“Hopefully it’s basketball — we’ve lost too many players to footy over the years, but he’s certainly got a bright future no matter what he does.”

Young basketballers are competing to secure a spot on the Adelaide 36ers development roster.(ABC News: Nyome)

Ninnis is still deciding what types of players he wants for the development contracts.

That process will be influenced in part by the imports he signs after an upcoming scouting trip to Las Vegas — proof that the sport is not only brutal, but also a roll of the dice.