As Draft Approaches, Badiane & Rickert Strut Stuff

ith the NBA draft fast approaching (just two days away), the Hawks on Tuesday welcomed prospects Malick Badiane, Rick Rickert, Kirk Penney and Richard Jeter in for a workout at the Philips Arena practice facility. The Hawks will pick at No. 21 and No. 37 in NBA Draft 2003, coming on Thursday, June 26.

Badiane Badiane
Malick Badiane, 6-10, 230, Forward/Center, Langen (Germany)

How did everything go out there?
"It was a good workout, physical. I liked it. This is my eighth one."

How would you describe your game?
"My job is to play defense, rebound and block shots."

Can you compare your game to a current NBA player?
"Ben Wallace."

Any idea about where you will be drafted?
"You never really know, but I think in the first round."

Jeter Jeter
Richard Jeter, 6-6, 210, Guard/Forward, Atlanta Metro College

How did the workout go overall?
"It was very good and extremely competitive. Since it's sort of the end of the tryout period, it was a dogfight. But I wasn't about to let anybody push me over. I had to really compete hard. I think I did very well. This was my 11th workout."

How would you describe your game for those that don't know much about it?
"Usually, players that are very athletic can't really shoot. I shot 47 percent on three's this year. I feel I'm as pure as any shooter in the country. I think I've proved that in every workout."

Is there a NBA player you try to pattern yourself after?
"I've been told I remind people of Tracy McGrady."

Any feeling on what may happen on Thursday?
"I plan to be a first rounder."

Has playing for the Hawks crossed your mind?
"It would be a dream come true. I went to school here and have friends here. Since my dad was in the military, I never had a chance to stay one place and make friends. I've been here two years, and it would be nice to stay here and be able to perform at the highest level in front of my college coach and my teammates from last year. It would make me real proud to be able to perform in front of them and my family."

Penney Penney
Kirk Penney, 6-5, 220, Guard, Wisconsin

How do you think everything went out there today?
"It was good. A good bunch of guys came in and they worked us out well today."

How has your workout schedule been?
"I've worked out for several teams, but not as many as these guys. Some of these guys have worked out for 15 or 16 teams. This is my last one. I'm happy to be done with this process, and hopefully good things will come."

How did it go personally?
"Not too shabby. I did what I could and I hope they liked it."

Describe your game for our fans.
"(Jokingly): I'm unbelievably athletic. I throw it down every opportunity I have, jump from the free throw line, that kind of game. And I might hit a couple of jumpers along the way."

Is there player who you pattern your game after?
"There are a lot of players I look at and follow, and try to learn from. But there's not one player specifically. I like to watch Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki and Wally Szczerbiak."

Rickert Rickert
Rick Rickert, 6-11, 215, Forward, Minnesota

How did today's workout go?
"I thought it went great today. The workout, and the competition was really good. It was a lot of fun. I think this was my 14th workout."

It was a physical workout. Is that how you like to play?
"That's definitely how I like to play. I was brought up that way in the Big Ten. So it's kind of second nature."

Do you have any expectations as to what may happen on Thursday?
"You always like to think the best and hope for the best of everything. But right now I have no idea. It's my goal and my dream to play in the NBA, so that's all that really matters to me."

What are your strengths as a player, and one thing you've shown in workouts that teams might now have known about you?
"I think they look at me and they see a skinny kid. They would think I'd be soft. But I think I prove them wrong with my competitiveness."

Are there any NBA players you watch closely, or pattern your game after?
"I grew up in Minnesota, so I've watched Kevin Garnett all the time. He's just a great player. He can shoot it, he can take it to the basket. He's just a great, fundamental, athletic player."

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