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NBA Draft 2001: Wednesday, June 27
Samuel Dalembert

Samuel Dalembert
No. 26 pick, Philadelphia 76ers

Q: How do you feel about going to the Sixers?

Dalembert: I don't know what to say. They were my 15th or 16th workout. The coach was great, and I didn't expect it. I'm really glad. It's a good situation for me to fit, because I have an opportunity to play with Mutombo. He's a great shotblocker, and that's going to be great for me to work against him and work on my game outside. It's going to be great. It can't get much better than that.

Q: Can you talk about Philadelphia's style of play?

Dalembert: They really impressed me in the playoffs. It's a team with a lot of heart, and when I see them, I can see myself also fitting in with them, especially since they're [not] the kind of team that gives up so easily. I think that's a blessing from God, to have the opportunity to be with them.

Q: What can you contribute to their team?

Dalembert: Basically, I'm looking forward to improve my game from the outside and playing defense for them, which I'm capable of and quick enough to do, and I'm going to listen to Coach and get myself better as a player. And that's something that's going to be really exciting.

Q: Where did you expect to go?

Dalembert: I didn't expect myself going anywhere. I went through so many workouts, and this is a once-in-a-lifetime situation. I put a lot of work into it. I didn't care where I got drafted. I'm happy with the decision I made.

Q: Can you talk about improving your defense?

Dalembert: I've been working hard on that. My defense is my priority, something not too many players do that nowadays. I'm still going to work hard on my defense and keep it up, and now I've got a great coach to work with me. I'm excited and I'm looking forward to it.

Q: What about the people who thought you shouldn't have come out early?

Dalembert: This is it, man. Those people who say I shouldn't, that was a decision I made. I believe in myself, I'm confident and I did what I had to do. It's all in God's hands. I'm here.

Q: How much did your grandmother's situation factor into your decision?

Dalembert: That was something that touched me. After my father's mother died this year, when I came back from my country, I kind of had a new perspective of my future and how to see it, and that affected my decision to come out for the draft. That's one of the reasons I'm here.

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