MAYNOR TO LEARN NBA DESTINATION THURSDAY
By Chris Kowalczyk
Some 98 days since the curtain fell on his collegiate career, Eric Maynor will learn where his life as a professional basketball player will begin Thursday during the NBA Draft (ESPN, 7 p.m.).
The last three months have been a whirlwind for Maynor, VCU’s all-time leader in points and assists, who only recently had an opportunity to think about what lies ahead.
“It’s just now starting to hit me,” Mayor said last week. “I’m just a few days away from getting my name called by [NBA Commissioner] David Stern.
In a draft stocked with point guards, it’s anybody’s guess where Maynor could wind up. However, most mock drafts have the Raeford, N.C. native going somewhere in the middle of the first round.
“I just want to end up in the right situation,” Maynor said. “Whether it’s No. 10 or No. 19, I don’t want to sit behind a bunch of people. I want to go somewhere where I can play and contribute.”
Since he received his bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from VCU May 17, the 6-3 guard has been zigzagging the country.
Maynor spent three weeks in Houston, Tex., working out under the direction of former NBA player and coach John Lucas. Lucas had served as a guest speaker at one of former VCU Coach Anthony Grant’s clinics last year and extended an invitation to Maynor.
Lucas, who has coached the San Antonio Spurs, Philadelphia 76ers and Cleveland Cavaliers in the past, ran Maynor through intense drill work, as well as some 5-on-5 scrimmages against with a collection of college and pro players.
During that time Maynor says he was able to address his shooting touch, an area that has been his biggest question mark. In college, the 3-point line is 20 feet, nine inches deep. In the NBA, it extends a full three feet farther.
“It’s a big difference,” Maynor said. “In college I could shoot from that far if I was comfortable. But in the NBA, you’ve got to shoot it all the time.”
In the meantime, Maynor managed to mix in the Pre-Draft Camp in Chicago, as well as individual workouts for a slew of teams, including Minnesota, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Detroit and New Jersey.
Maynor said he was among a group of roughly 15 players invited by the NBA to the draft at Madison Square Garden, but declined. Instead, he’ll gather with family and friends and watch the draft from Raeford.
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