Chris Singleton’s Draft Diary: No. 3
The latest from the Wizards’ first-round pick.
After bringing his Florida State Seminoles to the Sweet Sixteen, junior forward Chris Singleton announced that he would enter the 2011 NBA Draft. Singleton led the Seminoles to three consecutive NCAA Tournaments, ending a decade absence from the Tourney. Along the way Singleton earned the ACC Defensive Player of the Year Award and a reputation as a versatile, lock down defender.
This season, Chris averaged 13.1 points and grabbed 6.8 boards a game. Sidelined in early February with a fractured foot, he returned in time for a postseason push the Seminoles hadn’t seen since Sam Cassell was in maroon and gold. Chris has been keeping us updated on his path towards this past week’s NBA Draft. Now a Washington Wizard, Chris fills us in on last minute workouts, Draft day deals and the realization of a dream.
— As told to Dan Shapiro
I guess I can say that a lot has changed for me since my last entry. Tomorrow morning I’ll be in Washington, to be introduced as part of the NBA’s Washington Wizards. I feel blessed to be able to say that. I’m joining a great organization and can’t believe how lucky I am to be able to play professional basketball.
The week leading up to the Draft was busy. I was asked to come back to work out again for Utah, Milwaukee and Charlotte which I did knowing that it was a great opportunity to up my position in the Draft. The excitement grew on Saturday when I heard that I was invited to the Green Room on Draft night.
You can’t help wondering where you’re going to end up. I worked my whole basketball career for this moment and all of the rumors, and speculation can get into your head if you let them. But I knew going into Draft night that the Draft by definition is unpredictable. Showing up to Newark to hear about Charlotte trading for the seventh and ninth pick was the perfect reminder of that fact. I was sitting with Biyombo, Kanter and Vesely and all of us were wondering if that trade was a move to get one of us. It turned out that way for Biyombo, but none of us knew for sure.
Seeing the guys get their names called, waiting for my turn was nerve racking but I tried to remain calm. Ultimately, it’s not about where you go—it’s about working hard and proving yourself once you get to your team. As I’m watching Alec Burks drop to 12 and Kawhi Leonard to 15 I realized I was also going to be going a little later than I’d anticipated. With the 18th pick I became a part of the Washington Wizards organization.
I thought I was ready for that moment, but when I heard my name called I can’t remember even being as excited. I couldn’t be happier about my situation. I’m joining the Wizards with Jan Vesely and Shelvin Mack. Vesely’s highlight video says enough about what an explosive player he’s been overseas. I can’t wait to get out on the court with him. I played with Sheldon on last summer’s USA Select team and against him, last season in Hawaii. The guy can flat out play.
Tomorrow in Washington I’ll be meeting with the Flip Saunders, his coaching staff and the rest of the organization. It’s incredible to me to be able to play for a guy that I grew up watching coach KG in Minnesota. It says something to me about his character that he personally ran his Draft workouts. He’s been around this league a long time, and I look forward to learning from him.
With a lockout likely coming, I’m going to try to workout with some of my new teammates. It’s a weird situation to be starting my NBA career with but all I can do is to continue to work as hard as I can so I’m ready to play in this league. So that’s my plan this summer. Work out, stay focused and get situated in D.C. Thanks for checking out my Draft diary. Enjoy your summer.