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Norvel Pelle

Slightly Different Draft Facts

June 25, 2013
by Joe Gabriele Beat Writer

We've heard about all the 2013 Draft prospect's measurables, how they've fared against one another in college or at the Combine and how they interviewed.

But here are some facts that might've slipped through the cracks.

Pitt big man Steven Adams is one of 18 siblings, six of whom played basketball for New Zealand. All of his brothers stand 6-10 or 6-11 and his sisters are either 6-5 or 6-6.

Nineteen-year-old swingman Giannis Adetokunbo grew three inches in ten months, has enormous hands and, at 6-9, has a wingspan of 7-3. That might explain his nickname – “The Greek Freak”

Coveted UNLV power forward Anthony Bennett is taking a similar route to the pros as Cavs sophomore Tristan Thompson. Both are from Brampton, Ontario. Both transferred to prep schools in the States – first out East and then on to Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nevada. Both were one-and-done in school before declaring for the NBA Draft.

Texas guard Myck Kabongo also took a similar path. His family moved to Toronto from the Capetown, South Africa when he was six. He also went on to attend college in New Jersey – playing a season-and-a-half alongside Tristan – before transferring to Findlay prep. Like Thompson, he attended Texas, but stayed through his sophomore season.

Marquette guard Vander Blue decommitted from Wisconsin after being subjected to personal attacks on internet Madison message boards.

This Draft has an inordinate amount of NBA heirs set to be selected. Duke guard Seth Curry is the son of Del Curry and brother of Warriors sharpshooter, Steph Curry. Michigan guard, Tim Hardaway Jr. ’s dad was a five-time All-Star; swingman Glen Rice Jr. ’s dad won a National Championship with Michigan and an NBA title with the Lakers; Colorado State big man Colton Iverson’s father was drafted by the SuperSonics, Missouri guard Phil Pressey’s pops is a Milwaukee Bucks legend and former Cavaliers coach, Paul Pressey. Miami point guard Shane Larkin’s father didn’t play in the NBA, but he is an MLB Hall of Famer and one of the greatest shortstops to play the game.

Southern Cal center Dwayne Dedmon didn’t begin playing organized basketball until his senior year of high school because his mother felt his faith as a Jehovah’s Witness was more important.

In his native language of Wolof, Gorgui Dieng’s first name means “the old one.” Born in Senegal, he aced his SAT six months after learning English and did so with 400 points to spare.

Lithe French seven-footer Rudy Gobert set NBA Combine records for wingspan (7 feet 8 1/2 inches) and standing reach (9 feet 7 inches).

South Dakota State point guard Nate Wolters earned four varsity letters in tennis in high school and is one of four players in Division 1 history to finish with 2,000 points, 600 rebounds and 600 assists.

Guard Ricky Ledo will be credited as being drafted out of Providence, although he never actually played a game there after being declared academically ineligible.

Akron’s Zeke Marshall, the two-time MAC defensive player of the year’s nickname is “Ziggy Marsh.” He’s working with former Cavs coach John Lucas to prepare himself for the Draft.

National Player of the Year, Michigan guard Trey Burke, was best friends with former OSU standout and current Celtics forward Jared Sullinger since they were in fourth grade. Both were coached by Jared’s dad, “Satch” Sullinger.

Burke was so dominant at a young age that his local youth basketball league they had to change the rules to keep him from stealing the ball; he wasn’t allowed over half court when the other team had the ball

Miami forward Kenny Kadji played the piano for five years.

Virginia Tech’s Erick Green led the nation in scoring (25.0 ppg) and, along with Maryland’s Len Bias (1985-86), is the only other player to win ACC Player of the Year honors coming from a team with a losing record.

Sharp-shooting North Carolina guard Reggie Bullock’s starting teammates on the East Team in the 2010 McDonald’s All-American game were Tobias Harris, Kendall Marshall, Kyrie Irving and Jared Sullinger.

Canton’s own CJ McCollum – a four-year combo guard from Lehigh – penned an article for the Sporting News in 2012 about his decision to return to school for his senior year. If he’s drafted on Thursday, he’ll be the first Lehigh player to earn that honor.

Explosive UCLA forward Shabazz Muhammad’s sister Asia is a professional tennis player.

An L.A. Times article discovered that Muhammad was actually exactly one year older than he claimed to be.

Miami guard Durand Scott’s nickname is “Durand Durand.”

Potential top pick and former Kentucky center Nerlens Noel’s brother Rodman plays linebacker at NC State and his older brother Jim played defensive back at Boston College.

South American big man Lucas Nogueira’s nickname is “Bebe” – short for his Brazilian nickname “Bebe Gigant” or “Baby Giant.”

Gonzaga center Kelly Olynyk played quarterback in high school, but suffered a broken arm in a 2007 playoff game and, after a growth spurt, decided to focus his attention on basketball.

Versatile Georgetown forward Otto Porter didn’t play on the AAU circuit and went back and finished classes after declaring for the NBA Draft.

Maryland center Alex Len grew up in the Ukraine as a gymnast because he liked Jackie Chan movies.

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