Posts Tagged ‘NBA Draft’

Washington Wizards draft Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton, and Shelvin Mack

June 24, 2011

Shelvin Mack (1) watches Pitt's Gilbert Brown shoot a free throw during Butler's NCAA tournament win over the top-seeded Panthers last March at Verizon Center. Photo by Mike Frandsen.

The Washington Wizards drafted an athletic European forward, a tough defender from the ACC, and a solid combo guard who played in back-to-back national championship games Thursday.  In Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton, and Shelvin Mack, Washington hopes it has three players who will be able to contribute immediately.

With the sixth overall pick, the Wizards selected Vesely, a 6-11, 240 pound forward from the Czech Republic who helped his team, Partizan Belgrade, to the Serbian championship last season.  Vesely, 21, is known as an athletic dunker, and when ESPN’s Mark Jones suggested he could be the “European Blake Griffin,” Vesely responded, “Blake Griffin is the American Jan Vesely.”  After being picked, the crowd at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. cheered wildly after Vesely kissed his longtime girlfriend.

In Belgrade, Vesely regularly played in front of crowds of 22,000.  One of his teammates in 2011 was former Maryland Terrapin James Gist, also known for high flying dunks.  Gist spoke about Vesely to Frank Lawlor of Euroleague.net last February.  “He is the most athletic player I have seen in a while, and it’s great to play with a guy like that,” Gist said of the Czech star.  “It helps to have someone like him. If for some reason I can’t get the crowd going, he’s right there behind me to do it.”

For the rest of my article on examiner.com, click here.

NBA Draft: Wizards get Wall with top pick, Hoyas’ Monroe goes to Detroit, Terps’ Vasquez to Memphis

June 24, 2010

As has been expected ever sinceWashington won the NBA Draft Lottery last month, the Wizards selected Kentucky point guard John Wall with the first selection in the draft Thursday night.

Also in the first round, former Georgetown center Greg Monroe was selected seventh by the Detroit Pistons and former Maryland point guard Greivis Vasquez was taken 28th by the Memphis Grizzlies.

Vasquez, Maryland’s second all-time leading scorer, jumped up and down when his name was called and hugged his parents. Vasquez told ESPN, “We have a great roster. Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo…I just can’t wait to get to training camp and work hard. This means a lot to me and my country back in Venezuela.”

The only other time the Wizards had the number one pick was in 2001 when they selected Kwame Brown right out of high school, but Brown turned out to be a bust. Wall, however, is expected to be close to a sure thing. He averaged 16.6 points and 6.5 assists during his only season at Kentucky and was a Consensus First Team All-America.

To see the rest of my article on Examiner.com, click here.