Nuggets pro personnel scout Jared Jeffries was 11th pick in 2002

by Aaron Lopez

Years of hard work on the hardwood will pay off for 60 aspiring NBA players on June 26 when their names are called during the 2014 NBA Draft in Brooklyn, N.Y.

As the draft approaches, asked players and executives to recall their draft-night memories.

Nuggets pro personnel scout Jared Jeffries was the 11th overall pick in 2002 after averaging 14.4 points and 7.2 rebounds in two seasons at Indiana University.

As a projected lottery pick, Jeffries was among the prospects that the NBA invited to sit in the “green room” – a special area near the stage reserved for players and their families during the draft.

“It’s the best,” Jeffries said of his draft experience. “I had a chance to see the process of going to the green room and having my mom, dad and little brother with me. You get to hear your named called, walk on stage and be interviewed on national TV. It’s a special experience. Something you never forget.”

Going into the draft, Jeffries figured he would be selected by Memphis at No. 4, Miami at No. 10 or Washington at No. 11.

When the cameras rolled his way just before the 11th pick, Jeffries knew his moment had arrived.

“It was awesome. It’s a really cool feeling. The cameras are on you and the commissioner calls your name. It’s almost surreal because you’ve worked your whole life to be a professional, to be great at something and it’s a culmination and realization that all your work paid off.”