By JOSH NEWMAN
Special to ZAGSBLOG
The 1,490 points, 110 games played, three NEC championships, three NCAA Tournament appearances and the 2013 NEC Player of the Year as a senior are all a part of the 6-foot-7 small forward’s legacy, but can the resume and the game he has cultivated help deliver him to an NBA roster?
“I did have a good career and I just thank God for that,” Olasewere told SNY.tv after working out for the Nets on Monday morning, his first NBA workout. “He put me in a great place where I had the opportunity to flourish and I hope with the type of resume I put together, it can open the eyes at someone’s NBA workout.”
Viewed as a combo forward with the ability to get to the rim, but needing to work on his jumper some, the Nets were the first workout for Olasewere, who said he will work out for the Knicks on Tuesday and the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday. The NBA Draft is June 27 and Olasewere does not currently appear on any mock drafts.
Before getting his first opportunity to work out in front of NBA personnel, the Silver Spring, MD native noted he had been working out with noted training guru Ross Burns in New York City. Despite staying in shape, it may have taken him a while to get going on Monday morning.
“At first, there were a couple of nerves because it’s quiet in here, but once everyone started getting going, I got going and I was very much in my comfort zone,” Olasewere said. “I feel like I did pretty good, some things I felt a little rusty on. I don’t why, but I feel like my ball-handling wasn’t where it has been, but my shots were falling. Overall, I thought I played pretty well.”
Olasewere is in the same boat as many other prospects who played at a similar low or mid-major level in college. The numbers and resume are impressive, but how much of it was done against high-major competition. That stigma is something Olasewere knows he’ll need to overcome, but he also understands he’s not alone.
The highest rated prospect at PNY Center on Monday was 6-foot-8 power forward Tony Mitchell, who played two years at North Texas of the Sun Belt Conference. Mitchell is currently slotted as the No. 26 pick by DraftExpress.
“It’s unfortunate, but yeah, the low-major is something I’ll have to overcome,” Olasewere said. “You got guys like Tony Mitchell coming from a small school and you have something to prove coming from a low or mid-major against these guys from big-time schools.”