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June 27, 2014
Three Metro Area Players Get Drafted
It would be one of the deepest NBA drafts in years with Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid taking numbers one through three of the 60 slots available on Thursday night.
Of the New York Metropolitan area players in the draft, only three players made the grade with only one getting guaranteed money as a first round pick.
Kyle Anderson - The St. Anthony HS star, who frequented NY's iS8/Nike Tournament with the Playaz Club AAU team, would go on to UCLA and help lead his team into the NCAA Tournament. One of the best passers in the draft, Anderson is a point guard trapped in a small forward's body. Better categorized as a Point forward, Anderson was picked up #30 in the first round by the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs. The knock on Anderson is his un-athleticism but he more than makes up for it with his high I.Q. and floor generalship which should be a great fit for the team oriented Spurs. Anderson will join fellow Metro area player in Danny Green.
Cleanthony Early - NY Knicks president Phil Jackson pulled a Zen like move by trading with Dallas to acquire two draft picks. He used his 34th pick on Early from Middletown, NY. Early attended Pine Bush HS and played AAU basketball with the B.C. Eagles. He went to Wichita State and made an immediate impact for the Shockers, averaging 13.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. He was named first team All-Missouri Valley Conference and the MVC Newcomer of the Year. In the post-season, Early led the team to the 2013 Final Four in Atlanta. Early dropped in the draft probably due to Wichita State's Cinderella team label and is a steal for the Knicks.
Russ Smith - Smith was born in New York City, played for the NY Gauchos AAU team and went to Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens, N.Y. and played basketball for head coach Jack Curran. He led the New York City Catholic league (CHSAA) in scoring as a junior averaging 24.5 points a game and as a senior averaging 29.6 points. Smith attended Louisville and after a slow start led the Cardinals to the national championship over Michigan. Known as a scorer, Smith remained at Louisville an additional year increase his stock by displaying his point guard skills. Smith will at least get the chance to continue his quest to prove that he is a more than capable NBA point guard. He was drafted #47 by the Philadelphia 76ers and then traded to the New Orleans Pelicans.
Undrafted Metro Area Players :
As one of the oldest players in the draft at 24, age may have been a factor for the Cincy star from Yonkers, NY. He's signed with to play with Philadelphia 76ers in the Summer League.
The 5'9" undersized NYC point guard was fighting an uphill battle. Williams vows to continue the fight.
The Red Storm star probably could've used an extra year in the Big East. Sampson has signed to play in the summer league with the Philadelphia 76ers. While technically not from the metro area, he played for NYC College.
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