Most local players don't get the call Magruder's Williams only 1 drafted out of 11 hopefuls

June 27, 1996|By Jason LaCanfora | Jason LaCanfora,SUN STAFF

Eleven players with local college or high school ties were eligible for last night's NBA draft.

Only former Georgetown forward Jerome Williams got a call from an NBA club, though.

Williams, who attended Magruder High in Germantown, was taken in the first round with the 26th selection by the Detroit Pistons.

Of the rest, Maryland shooting guard Johnny Rhodes, George Washington guard Kwame Evans (Southern) and University of Massachusetts forward Donta Bright (Dunbar) were considered NTC the three with the best chances of being drafted.

Evans, 6 feet 6, was a two-time All-Atlantic 10 Conference first-team selection and some projected him to go in the second round. Evans led the Atlantic 10 in scoring as a junior, averaging 19.4 points per game and was second in the conference with 18.7 points per game as a senior.

"You would love to be picked in the draft, but I think it's better that I didn't get picked in the second round," Evans said. "I think it will be better for me to go into a free-agent camp and just work hard for a spot. Wherever they need a shooting guard, I'm willing to go to."

Evans said the Orlando Magic called him and said he was being considered for their first-round selection (27th overall), but they decided against it. The Philadelphia 76ers and Vancouver Grizzlies also expressed interest.

"Those teams already filled their voids in the draft," Evans said. "The Miami Heat called me and seemed interested, and I'm going down there [today]. San Antonio called too. I'm keeping my head up. I'm optimistic. The NBA has always been my dream and that's where I want to be."

Rhodes, 6-4, averaged 16.7 points per game for the Terrapins in his senior season and is the ACC's all-time leader in steals (344), but he was not invited to show off for scouts at any of the pre-draft camps.

Three other Terps, Exree Hipp, Mario Lucas and Duane Simpkins were eligible, but Rhodes was ranked as the best NBA prospect among the Maryland seniors.

Bright played on the 1992 Dunbar team that finished the year ranked first in the nation by USA Today. Bright was the first sophomore ever to win the Sun's Player of the Year award, and he duplicated the accomplishment his senior season at Dunbar.

The 6-6 forward averaged 14.5 points per game last season and helped UMass reach the Final Four. Bright was also a first-team All-Atlantic 10 selection his senior year. Bright's teammate at Dunbar, Michael Lloyd, also went undrafted. Lloyd played for Syracuse in 1994-95 after spending two years at San Jacinto Junior College. Lloyd left the Orangemen after one season, but did not declare himself eligible for last year's NBA draft.

Lloyd tried to play for an NAIA school during the 1995-96 season, but was declared ineligible. Lloyd has not played organized basketball, college or pro, since suiting up for Syracuse.

Bernard Hopkins (Overlea) and Kevin Simpson (Southern) were the other two eligible players who attended Baltimore-area high schools.

Hopkins was the Colonial Athletic Conference Player of the Year at Virginia Commonwealth last year. Simpson played two seasons at Dixie Community College in Utah.

Randy Edney, 7-foot, 310 pounds, left Mount St. Mary's a year early, but also went undrafted.

Pub Date: 6/27/96

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