Bembry, Cordinier Ready For Challenge Ahead

Press Conference
Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks introduced 2016 draft picks DeAndre' Bembry and Isaia Cordinier to Atlanta Tuesday. Hawks General Manager Wes Wilcox had nothing but good things to say about both players, including Bembry, whom the Hawks chose with the 21st overall pick in the draft.

"We started scouting DeAndre' three years ago and really dug in very deeply this season after a very good sophomore year at St. Joe's," Wilcox said. "His versatility, unselfishness and athleticism really stood out as very good fits for the way we play in our organization."

Bembry, who said that he feels he can play point guard, shooting guard and small forward, noted that he was pleased to get chosen by a team that matched his St. Joseph's University collegiate experience in both scheme and atmosphere.

"It's team basketball. Everybody gets along with each other," the 6-foot-6 guard said. "I got a feel for that when I came down for a workout."

Then Bembry, who had his mother, grandmother and cousin in attendance at the press conference, smiled and noted the intensity of his pre-draft session with Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

"They definitely push you for sure," he said. "Coach was yelling at me at the first workout here already, and he hadn't even drafted me." 

Budenholzer said that he expected both Bembry and Cordinier to play in the Las Vegas Summer League next month. 

"I think the biggest expectation is that they establish a work ethic and establish a competitive spirit," Budenholzer said. "It's exciting putting these guys with our assistant coaches and with our development (team)."

Wilcox echoed the same sentiment of versatility for Cordinier, the 44th overall pick, that he did for Bembry.

"Isaia is a young player who came on the radar very quickly this year in France, who our group scouted multiple times throughout the year," Wilcox said. "His competitiveness, energy, athleticism and versatility jumped out as very intriguing characteristics for us."

Cordinier (whose name is pronounced as ee-SIGH'-uh CORE'-dean-yeh), has a simple approach for Summer League lined up, where he plans to wear jersey number #44.

"Take please, have fun, play hard," the 6-foot-4 guard said. 

"When you're a competitive player, you want to show it. For me, just for example, I'm taking the #44 for Summer League just to remember I was the 44th pick. It's motivation, not bad feelings. Just motivation. I'm very, very happy to be a Hawk."

Cordinier also took care to distinguish between his favorite player and the one from whom he tried to learn the most. 

"My favorite player is Carmelo Anthony, but we don't really have the same game," he said. "This year the player I watched the most was Nando de Colo, the Euroleague MVP, because I think I can learn a lot about how he plays the point. He's a smaller guard too."

With Summer League just two weeks away, Hawks fans will be able to see the rookies' skills on display soon. If there was any doubt of that idea, Budenholzer quickly dismissed it.

"They will both play a lot," Budenholzer said. "I can tell you that."

Story by KL Chouinard
Twitter: @KLChouinard


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