Alabama's Alonzo Gee can't wait to see where his NBA future is
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
IAN R. RAPOPORT
News staff writer
TUSCALOOSA - Alonzo Gee begins rattling off the names of the cities he's visited for workouts. The voice of the former Alabama guard grows weary.
"Portland, San Antonio, Charlotte, Houston, Milwaukee ..." Gee said. "I can't remember where else. It's been a very, very long, tough process. And it's almost over."
Like most NBA hopefuls, Gee thrust himself into the preparation for his future career. He's played on countless courts, answered countless questions, and gone through countless workouts.
And don't forget the several months he spent at Las Vegas' Impact Sports Academy slogging through three daily sessions with hopes that it will make him NBA-ready.
With a sigh of relief, Gee acknowledged that he can't wait until the two-round draft takes place Thursday at 6 p.m. at Madison Square Garden.
"Thursday's going to be a great night, because I finally find out what's going to happen," said Gee, a 6-foot-6, 219-pound three-year starter from Riviera Beach, Fla., who averaged 15 points and 7.2 rebounds last season. "I'm just going to sit here with my family and watch what happens. I'm playing it by ear."
Only former star point guard Ronald Steele, the Birmingham native who abruptly quit the team in February, joins Gee as Alabama's possibly draftees. Steele left early from one pre-draft tournament because he tweaked his foot, and he has an uphill battle to continue his pro career.
According to NBA Draft analysts, Gee is considered either a second-round pick or an undrafted free agent. Whether he hears his named called will likely depend on several factors, including which players are selected before him and which teams hold onto their late-round selections.
Averaging 11 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 3.0 steals at the Portsmouth (Va.) Invitational helped his stock. Still, ESPN.com has him ranked 102nd and some mock drafts have him undrafted.
Only first-round picks receive guaranteed contracts, meaning Gee will have to fight his way onto a team, regardless.
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