For former Mississippi State guard Dee Bost, opportunity has knocked twice.
by Peter Walsh / @goinginsquad
Everyone makes mistakes, and for hopeful NBA draftee and former Mississippi State point guard Dee Bost, a simple case of miscommunication led to him missing nearly half of his junior season. After posting averages of 13 points, 5.2 assists and 4.4 rebounds during his sophomore season, Bost decided to test the Draft waters to see where he ranked. But when he didn’t get the feedback he had hoped for, the young man felt it was best to return to MSST and work on his game in hopes of improving his stock.
Unfortunately for him, the NCAA changed the Draft withdraw date from its usual June date to May 8—a rule change that Bost was unaware of. Bost’s career hung in limbo as the NCAA held his fate in its hands. While he was eventually granted his eligibility and allowed to return to Starkville, the NCAA handed down a nine-game suspension for the rule breakage, plus another seven-game suspension due to his academic ineligibility. (Imagine that, the NCAA suspended a player for returning to school to work toward his degree.) While his reputation and stock fell following the mishap, Bost was one of the few players out there to get what so many ballers would trade everything for: a second chance.
After serving his suspension, the heady point guard bounced back and went onto post averages of 15.3 points, 6.2 assists and 3.5 rebounds while shooting just under 40 percent from the field, good enough to earn Second-Team All-SEC honors as the Bulldogs failed to reach the NCAA Tournament.
When looking at Bost’s career as a whole, it’s surprising that the 6-2 guard hasn’t risen up Draft boards since the season ended. During his senior year at Mississippi State, he played in 33 games while averaging 15.8 points, 5.5 assists 3.3 rebounds and 2 steals and led a talented, but controversial, Bulldogs team. Along with those impressive stats, Bost is the all-time assist leader at MSST and was named First-Team All-SEC—an accolade that puts him in the same company as NBA guys like John Wall, Jodie Meeks and Marcus Thornton.
Bost attributes his team’s lack of national attention to him flying under the radar as the Draft approaches: “Playing at Mississippi State, we didn’t play a lot of televised games or in front of a lot of people… I feel like I’m underrated. I just gotta get to workouts and prove that to everybody else.”
Though Bost isn’t high up on many Draft boards, he doesn’t believe his past mistakes should dictate his future potential. “I’ve moved past the whole thing and hopefully the guys in the front offices have forgotten about it as well,” Bost says. “I just gotta keep working past that and get ready for workouts.”
While he certainly wishes things had gone differently a few years ago, the whole process turned out to be a motivating factor and a bump in the road to reaching his dreams. “It was an important learning process,” Bost says. “It made me have a different mindstate toward the game. I was going harder at practice everyday and it makes you think different basketball wise, [it made me realize] nothing is guaranteed.”
For guys like Bost, the next month leading up to the Draft is crucial. While more marquee players are all but guaranteed roster spots and contracts, guys like Bost have to show scouts and GMs a little something extra to get their shot. All hopeful draftees are under a microscope, and every move they make over the next month will be picked apart and scrutinized. Players with Bost’s background can’t afford any type of slip-up during the all important pre-Draft workouts and interviews.
Fortunately for Bost, he’ll have numerous chances to prove that he belongs in the NBA with his more highly touted peers. “People got their guy that they like, [so when] I’m in workouts they get so see their guy go up against me, and I get the chance to show that I’m better or just as good,” says a confident Bost.
Bost has much to prove in the next few weeks and has the work ethic to turn heads and garner deserved attention. The point guard may turn into this year’s version of Isaiah Thomas who was last year’s “Mr. Irrelevant.” Thomas, who turned in a very successful rookie campaign with the Kings, had a lot of questions due to his height heading into workouts and emerged as the steal of the Draft, earning Rookie of the Month Honors for February and March. Like Thomas, Bost had a successful four-year college career and has some question marks surrounding both his game and history, but has the talent and experience to make in impact on an NBA roster.
While nothing is guaranteed, especially in the NBA, Dee Bost is humbled to have another shot at his dream. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to try it again,” Bost says. “I’ll be able to bring a tough, competitive mindstate to a team and I’ll work hard to do everything they want me to do.”
Opportunity rarely knocks twice and Dee Bost is determined to not let his second chance pass him by.