By Jason Goorman
BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Deyonta Davis is in Brooklyn, getting ready for tonight’s NBA draft.
Davis, 19, was an All-Stater and Michigan Mr. Basketball Award winner at Muskegon High School before playing one season as a standout freshman at Michigan State. He announced he was turning pro after the Spartans were eliminated from the NCAA tournament this spring.
“I’m managing well, taking it one step at a time, and enjoying the process,” Davis, a 6-10 post player, told LocalSportsJournal.com
“There’s been a lot of traveling, meeting different teams and seeing different general managers,” added Davis, who said he’s worked out in recent weeks for Orlando, Utah, Phoenix and Denver.
The draft will be tonight at 7 p.m. at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, home of the Brooklyn Nets. It will be telecast live on ESPN.
There’s no telling where Davis will go in the draft, but experts seem to think it will be in the first round.
CBSSports.com has Davis projected to be the 12th pick, which was originally Utah’s but went to Atlanta in a trade.
“This is actually Atlanta’s pick thanks to a three-team trade on Wednesday,” CBSSports.com reported. “But there are reports that the Hawks are trying to package it with the 21st pick in another trade. In other words, who knows where this is going?
“But Davis would be a nice upside pick that could eventually help ease the potential loss of Al Horford. At worst, Davis should be a difference-maker on the defensive end. He can rebound and block shots.”
Davis said he has no preference on what team selects him.
“I just want a team that wants me, and a team that has good role models. That can help others and help me,” Davis said.
Davis will have plenty of company at the daft, including his mother, grandmother, brother, sister and numerous friends.
One special guest will be Muskegon varsity basketball coach Keith Guy, who has been Davis’ mentor since his high school years.
“If he’s drafted, It’ll mean everything, considering where he’s come from,” Guy said. “He’s followed the plan, the blue print and I’m just excited for him.
“He’s been like DD has always been – a great kid. He’s a humble kid. He’s handled it like a champ. He’s been through a process. He’s resilient.”