An exclusive first-person account from Kansas forward Drew Gooden
June 5: Good-bye Kansas, hello NBA
June 12: Taking measurements in Chicago
June 20: This whole week I was in Kansas and I was out there for Coach Williams' basketball camp. I spoke to the camp and I played in the camp game, which is the alumni vs. the current players. And I was finally alumni now.
It felt weird because the team with the current players is supposed to still be my team, but then again it's not. It's like, I'm an older guy now so I was playing with all the veterans who have been out of school for 10-13 years. And I've just been out ... not even a couple months ... and I'm considered a vet! They're trying to make me feel old, but I don't really.
The vets included me, Greg Ostertag, Danny Manning, Steve Woodberry, Nick Bradford and Jeff Boschee played too. I tried to stay low-key back on campus this week. The kids did a lot of stuff during the day with the camp and then what I did was speak to the camp. I spoke about 20-30 minutes, answered some questions and then played in that camp game and I was done.
I still worked out every day. I played pickup games at night after the camp was over with all the current players who were there and some of the former players, who I just mentioned. It was cool, just a little thing to keep me in shape each day that I wasn't doing anything, to play at night. And I haven't played up-and-down five-on-five in so long either. It felt good. I'm so used to doing a lot of individual workouts and two-on-two basketball drills or whatever, it kind of felt different going up and down playing five-on-five.
My mom got mad at me because I didn't tell her I was in SLAM magazine this month. I didn't tell her I was doing the story. She just happened to have one of her co-workers at work give her the article. She always gets mad because I never tell her what I'm going to be in. Somebody else has to bring something to her. I do have a bunch of SLAM copies for her ... I just have to wait until I see her at the draft to give them to her.
Stories about me and stuff like that are just something that's going to happen and I don't pay too much attention to it. Probably like 2-3 years ago, I would have really been shocked or flattered, but now it's something I that I know is going to happen. Playing basketball and being successful playing basketball, I know things like that are going to happen. So it wasn't too much of a big deal.
There's not even a week to go before the draft, but I feel good. I sleep fine at night. I'm not one of those guys who's going to sleep restless at night, not knowing what team he's going to go to or what round I'm going to get picked.
It's just a matter of sitting patiently, just keep working out and just be ready for when my name gets called by the commissioner so I can shake his hand and put on my hat. It's going to be here soon! I can't wait to put on my draft suit!
About the suit, I'm giving you the same preview I'm giving everybody else -- it fits. I want it to be a surprise. It's kind of different. It won't stand out too much, but it's kind of different. I won't be in the photo gallery of crazy suits, but you'll definitely be able to see me up there.