Cole Aldrich Predraft Diary, No. 2
Less than a week from Draft night, Cole is wrapping up his final workouts.
As a junior this season, Cole Aldrich helped the Kansas Jayhawks remain one of the most dominant teams throughout the course of the year. Despite Kansas’ disappointing second round loss, Cole still has plenty of basketball in his future. He announced in late March that he’d forgo his final season of eligibility and enter this June’s NBA Draft, where many expect he will be a lottery pick. In the time leading up to that big day in early summer, Cole will be preparing diligently, while taking time to check in with us here and there. It’s been a month since we last spoke, and much has developed in the process. Read what the big fella’s been up to since he last checked in with SLAMonline below.
As told to Adam Fleischer
I just finished up working out in Houston yesterday, so now I’m gonna head to New Orleans. I got three workouts left. I got New Orleans, Detroit and Toronto again. Houston was my fifth one, so I’m finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, which is nice. Before this, I went to Toronto, Sacramento, Golden State, Utah, and then Houston yesterday. Toronto was a Thursday and then I worked out Monday in Oakland for Golden State. There’s usually about a day in between the workouts, which gives you time to travel and rest. I went to Utah last Thursday, then I got back to L.A., had the weekend to workout and get a little rest, and then got back on the grind again on Wednesday.
Most workouts are really similar. They really just have you do some shooting, some post work, and then really just go out and play—whether it’s two-on-two, one-on-one or three-on-three. Ekpe [Udoh] and I, we had three workouts together. We saw each other at my first one in Toronto, and then I saw him again in Sacramento, and then we went to Utah together. So him, myself, and Hassan Whiteside had like two or three together. We all kind of stuck together there for about a week. We have great friendships off the court, but on the court we have great battles and it’s a lot of fun. Most of what you do when you visit the organizations is on the floor. We’ll go to dinner or lunch or just have interviews after workouts, but other than that, most of the stuff was on the court.
In terms of the cities, they were all new to me. I’ve been to Houston before, but Toronto, Utah, Sacramento, and Oakland were all new to me. I had a little down time just to kind of walk around and see different things, but most of the time you’re kind of couped-up in your hotel room and want to get your rest. You really don’t get too much time in each city; it’s pretty much a quick day in and day out. Usually, you work out in the morning and head out after that.
Before the Chicago predraft camp, I worked out in Minnesota, where I’m from, for about a week. Playing at Kansas, I think I was home, in my three years, for maybe three months. We’d have a week or two before summer school started and then after summer school. It’s not bad. I kind of enjoy going to different cities and experiencing the different organizations.
I workout today for New Orleans, and then Monday and Tuesday for Detroit and Toronto. And then I’m coming to New York. I think Tuesday, after my workout in Toronto, I’m flying to New York. So I think I’ll be in like five different cities in three days.
The Draft is a week away. I’m excited. It’s hard to actually put your feelings into words, because I still have three workouts, but I know Tuesday when I get out to New York I’m going to be totally pumped, just ready for it all. My parents, my grandparents, my girlfriend, my brother, and one of my best friends and his family are gonna be out there. It’s gonna be really cool.
I get a lot of people that ask me, “What is it like?” I’m like, Well, it’s great, but you just don’t know anything. You hear things from teams, but at the same time you just never know where you’re gonna go until David Stern calls your name. When he does, I’m just going to be relieved. I’m gonna be really excited knowing where I’m going, what organization I’m gonna play for.