June 16, 2008
Charlotte's preparation for the 2008 NBA Draft continued Monday at the Presbyterian Hospital Training Center at Time Warner Cable Arena with UNC-Charlotte's Leemire Goldwire, Kansas' Russell Robinson, Alabama's Ron Steele, the Idaho Stampede's Mike Taylor, Dayton's Brian Roberts and Sweden's Rudy Mbemba all participating in draft workouts with the Bobcats.
Leemire Goldwire finished his Charlotte career ranked ninth in school history in scoring (1677 points), second in 3-point field goals (.343) fourth in steals (190) and seventh in free-throw percentage (.815). He averaged 18.6 points in his senior season with the 49ers while shooting .373 from the field, .345 from beyond the 3-point line. Goldwire was named Third Team All-Atlantic 10 after leading the league in treys (128) and steals (70).
Russell Robinson was a three-time Big 12 All-Defensive selection at Kansas. He was a three-year starter who helped lead the Jayhawks to four-straight Big 12 regular season titles and the 2008 NCAA Championship. He averaged 7.3 points and led the team with 4.1 assists in 2007-08 and finished with 500 career assists and 247 steals.
Ron Steele is also an early entry candidate for the 2008 NBA Draft. He sat out the 2007-08 season at Alabama as a medical redshirt after undergoing arthroscopic surgeries on both his left and right knees in the offseason. He was a Preseason AP All America selection in 2007 after finishing as a Bob Cousy Award Finalist and a Naismith Award Candidate in 2006-07 after finishing his sophomore season averaging 14.3 points. Steele finished 2006-07 averaging 8.6 points and 4.0 assists.
Mike Taylor enters the 2008 NBA Draft after playing for the Idaho Stampede in the NBA Development League in the 2007-08 season. He averaged 14.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists as the teamís sixth man after joining the team in December and scored 20 or more points 11 times.
Brian Roberts finished his four-year career at Dayton as the school's all-time leader in career 3-pointers made (294) and fourth in scoring (1,962 points) and finished with the third-highest career 3-point percentage (.442) in conference history. He became the second three-time All-Atlantic 10 selection in school history after leading Dayton with 18.4 points in his senior season and was named one of 16 finalists for Bob Cousy award.
Rudy Mbemba is also an early entry candidate for the 2008 NBA Draft. He grew up playing in his native Sweden, but has also played in Spain and Germany. Mbemba started professional career with Alvik 08 Stockholm in Sweden in 2003-04. Started the 2004-05 season with La Palma in the Spanish LEB before returning back home to Sweden to finish out the year. Moved on to Germany in 2005-06, where he played with the Deutsche Bank Frankfurt Skyliners for two seasons before returning to Sweden to play for the Solna Vikings in 2007-08 and averaged 18.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists.
Bobcats Head Coach Larry Brown, Goldwire, Robinson, Roberts and Steele all spoke with the media following the workout.
(On the workout)
It was good. It was different because the last time we had all seven-footers. This time, we had point guards, but it was good. They worked hard and it was fun.
(On what these players have to do to impress)
I say this to all the kids. You want to see if kids have a chance to get better and if they have the capacity to learn, if they love to play, how they accept coaching and (their) ability. A lot of second round kids in our league are doing pretty well.
(On if having Michael Jordan at the workout made the players work harder)
I think we all do that every time we see him. He is here, but sometimes he hides out. I think itís great for them, because heís the best. Itís no surprise why heís the best. He worked harder than anybody else.
(On Leemire Goldwire)
I follow the Atlantic-10 a lot living in Philly with Temple, LaSalle and St. Joeís. Youíre always getting to see these teams play. He shoots the ball with range. I coached (his relative) Anthony (Goldwire), so he has good bloodlines.
(On the free agent minicamp)
It was great, really good. We thought we were going to have 14, but we ended with 12. There were a couple of kids that we will hopefully have come to our rookie camp, but weíll wait and see. We have a lot of competition. We have 29 other teams. Hopefully it was a good experience for some and we will have a step up on them.
(On the workout)
I had fun. Coach Brown taught us a lot. We learned. We did a lot of three-on-three, two-on-two. He just talked to us and wanted us to soak it up.
(On how it feels being a local guy working out for the Bobcats)
It feels great. Hopefully I can be in one of their uniforms next year.
(On if there was any added pressure with Michael Jordan watching)
As soon as I saw him, I started smiling. Iíve never seen him. Just to see him in person, it was a great feeling. I tried to impress him as much as I could.
(On if he would fit here)
I feel great about my workout today. I think I would fit pretty well. They are looking for a point guard, so hopefully I can be that person.
(On this experience)
The experience is great. Coming from Palm Beach, Florida to being at a workout for an NBA team, I appreciate the opportunity the Bobcats have given me and Iím just trying to make the most of it.
(On what he has been doing since the end of the college season)
I have been in Las Vegas. Thatís where Iíve been training the past six weeks, just trying to get my ball-handling better, my shooting, passing, everything (better) and just trying to re-define my whole game.
(On where else he has worked out)
(This is) my second one. (Iíve been in) Toronto.
(On if he would like to stay in the area)
I would love to. Charlotte is a great city and I would love to be here.
(On if he has to work harder to make an impression)
Iíve been a hard worker anyways, so itís nothing new to me. I like working hard.
(On the workout)
I think it went pretty well. It was a real tough workout. Coach Brown put us through it. (It was) high-paced. It was a good workout.
(On the advantage he has having played on a National Championship team)
Everybody recognizes me and they got to see me play. Everybody loves winners, so I think I have an advantage in that sense. There are a lot of good players out here and Iím just trying to make a name for myself.
(On how he was primarily a defensive stopper and ball distributor at Kansas)
I think defense was probably my main contribution to the team. Iím a great team player and I make sure the best players are playing well.
(On if he feels he can make a name for himself by being a hard-nosed defensive player)
I think thatís my only chance to play in this league and Iím going to try to make the most of it.
(On Michael Jordan watching the workout)
I got the chance to meet Michael on several occasions, so I wasnít that shocked. Anytime you have a guy like that watching you play, you have to appreciate it.
(On the other workouts heís had)
Iíve been to Houston. That was a pretty tough workout. Iím not sure where Iím going to be next.
(On the difference between the Houston and Charlotte workout)
There was a lot more teaching in this workout. Coach Brown was hands on and was trying to make me a better player. I learned a lot from this workout as opposed to Houston where you just get out and play.
(On if he had any interaction with Coach Brown while at Kansas)
We watched a lot of tapes from the í88 championship. Coach Brown came and watched us practice for three days and evaluated our team. I knew him a little bit coming into todayís workout.
(On the workout)
It was a good competitive workout. Coach Brown is a great teacher of the game. We all just tried to pick up little things.
(On Michael Jordan watching the workout)
We were just joking about that a little bit after the workout. I know I kind of took a double take when I saw him sitting down over there. I didnít know if he was going to be here or not, but his presence was definitely here.
(On what heís hearing about his status)
Iím just working on getting my name as high as it can be. Iím not really on any mock drafts, but Iím just trying to come out every workout and impress and show what I can do. Iím not worried about too much except competing every workout.
(On working out with Leemire Goldwire)
It was good to get a fellow A-10 player. We talked yesterday and it was good to see him out here.
(On what he talked with Goldwire about)
I just asked what heís been doing since then (the end of the college season) and he did the same to me. Heís been working hard and I have been too, so itís good.
(On what he can bring to a team)
(I can bring) my ability to shoot. Thatís a big point of emphasis for me and a big statement of my game. Iím pretty quick, so Iíll use by quickness to my advantage. Iím a team player and Iíll try to fit in whatever role I can.
(On having Michael Jordan at the workout)
It was fun having Michael Jordan on the sidelines and getting to workout for Coach Brown. I learned a lot actually, so Iím happy to be here.
(On if he has made a decision on whether to stay in the Draft)
Iím going back and forth. Iím going to go home today and talk to my parents and talk to my coaches and Iíll decide before the deadline. I havenít made up my mind yet, honestly.
(On what he is hearing about his draft status)
Itís possible, anywhere from the mid-second round to not being drafted. Iím going to evaluate that and either way itís going to be positive for me whether I go back to school or stay (in the Draft). Iím happy to have the opportunity.
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