From time to time, a kid growing with a great passion for the game of basketball will daydream of playing ball under the game’s brightest lights in the NBA. For one local talent, his dreams of making it to the professional ranks will become a reality at the NBA Draft.
After starring at D.C. area powerhouse Dematha Catholic, Markelle Fultz took his talents cross-country to the University of Washington, where he averaged 23 points per game. Even though the Huskies did not make the NCAA tournament, Fultz carried the team most nights. After a stellar freshman campaign, most analysts project Fultz as an NBA lottery pick possibly going top overall. Not bad for a kid that did not make the varsity squad as a sophomore!
Two other ballplayers with good professional prospects are Josh Jackson, a 6-foot-8 wing out of Kansas, and Dennis Smith, a speedy point guard out of North Carolina State.
Many experts expected Jackson to leave college after a year. There really isn’t anything this guy can’t do on a basketball court. He’s young, long and extremely athletic. He shoots the ball well and can get to the rim at ease.
As for Smith, I think his secret is keeping a positive attitude. Smith definitely has an explosive NBA skill set, as he is a great creator and finisфher. He played on a losing squad this past season, but as an NBA point guard will be looked on as a leader of his team.
Well, the draft is near, and I know I can’t wait to see where these guys wind up.
By Jason Landy
Jason Landy is a native of the Washington, D.C. metro area. He studied at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland, and wrote for the sports website Bleacher Report.