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In preparation for the NBA draft tonight I thought it would be a good idea to share some insight as to how scouts and coaches are evaluating talent.  Our team here at Suwanee Sports Academy does a great job scouting talent in hopes of helping high school kids get noticed and earn a college scholarship. 

When young players are on the court coaches are looking at more than shooting, passing, defense, and rebounding.  He are some things that players need to think about, that coaches and scouts are looking for when they come to see you play.

Size                                                                       Dribble Penetration

Length                                                                  Playmaking Skills

Frame                                                                   Transition Skills

Strength                                                               Upside

Athleticism                                                          Raw Skills

Explosion                                                             Floor Leadership

Lateral Quickness                                             Intangibles

Court Awareness                                              Hustle/Effort                                                  

Vision                                                                   Rebounding

Ball Handling                                                      Attacking the Rim

Passing                                                                Finishing Skills

Footwork                                                             Shot Selection

Post Skills                                                           Speed

Shot Blocking                                                     Quickness

Mid-Range Game                                               Decision Making

Perimeter Stroke                                               Instincts

Range                                                                   Defensive Activity

In excitement for the NBA Draft tonight I recently watched the special NBA TV produced on the 1984 draft, which I highly recommend watching.  What an entertaining piece to get geared up for this year’s draft.  It was not only entertaining but a history lesson.  Besides the headliners of hall of famers, Olajuwon, Jordon, Stockton, and Barkley there were also some great stories on Rick Carlile, current coach of the Dallas Mavericks and the Brazilian legend Oscar Schmidt. 

In 1984 the draft was on a Tuesday afternoon, broadcast on the USA network and hardly anyone watched.  Tonight at the Barclay’s Center, the place will be packed with young prospects anxiously waiting to have their names called and their dreams come true.  Here are some things I found interesting in watching the special, along with some great quotes from some of the best players.

- There were 10 rounds in the 1984 draft, yes 10 rounds….. Carl Lewis was even drafted.

- Hakeem Olajuwon started playing basketball at 16.  Of course he had tremendous God given talent, he also worked his tail off to become one of the greatest big men of all time.  Current NBA players still go to him in the offseason to try and add to their post game.

- It was reported that the 76ers offered up Dr. J to the Bulls to try and use the pick on Michael Jordan.  Imagine Jordan playing in Philly all those years……

- Great quote from MJ on his effort every game in his rookie season.  “I figured there were some people out their looking at Michael Jordan for the first time, so every day was a proving ground for me.”  No matter what you do in life you have to get up every day with that same attitude, getting better and proving yourself. 

- Charles Barkley was an 11 time all-star, and 5 time All NBA first team selection. He won the 1993 MVP but couldn’t overcome Michael Jordan and the Bulls in the NBA finals.   Barkley was quoted in regards to Michael that that was the first time in his life that he thought to himself, “that guys is better than me.”

- John Stockton, drafted 16th by Jazz our of Gonzaga ended up being that NBA’s all-time leader in steals and assists He was a 10-time All-Star and 11-time All-NBA selection, and is one of the 50 greatest players of all-time. 

- Rick Carlile was drafted by the Celtics and Larry Bird immediately took him under his wing.  Carlile tried to beat bird into the gym every day.  Bird was quoted saying about Carlile, “He got up early, stayed late.  The odds were against him but the way he would fight and scrap every day at practice made him a better basketball player.”  He has won an NBA title as both a player and a coach.

- Oscar Schmidt was drafted by the Nets but never played in the NBA.  The Brazilian legend did not want to give up his amateur status at the time, because professionals could not represent their countries in the Olympics like you can nowadays.  He is unofficially the game’s all-time leading scorer with 49,737 points, which included national team play and club play. He lead the Italian league in scoring 7 times and averaged 29 ppg over 4 Olympics.  Kobe Bryant was quoted as saying, “He was Larry Bird before I ever got a chance to see what Bird was.”  In the 1987 Pan American games he opened the eyes of the NBA to drafting international players as he put up 46 points against the U.S. leading brazil to the gold medal. 

 I always love draft night and can’t wait to see where guys go, who moves up or back, who gets traded, and where some of my favorite college guys get drafted.  Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins are sure things.  I really like Aaron Gordon, Adreian Payne, PJ Hairston, and Shabazz Napier.  I think those guys are going to be solid pros for a number of years, we’ll just have to wait and see. 


Adam Linens, ATC, CSCS, CES, PES

Complete Your Game


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