|NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Florida State C Bernard James||06.20.12 at 9:39 am ET|
As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.
School: Florida State
Weight: 230 pounds
Achievements: 2012 All-ACC honorable mention, 2012 All-ACC Tournament second team, 2012 ACC All-Defensive team (coaches, media), 2012 NBWA Most Courageous Award, 2012 ACC Bob Bradley Spirit and Courage Award, 2010 NJCAA Leader for Life Award
Key 2011-12 stats: 10.8 points, 60.6 FG%, 8.1 rebounds, 2.3 blocked shots
What he brings: James may be one of the oldest players in the 2012 draft, but he would bring six years of military experience and two very successful years at Florida State to any team that drafts him. He’s a strong, athletic defender who can shoot as well — he shot 62.7 percent from the field over his two years at FSU. He excels defensively, recording 2.4 blocks and 7.0 rebounds — 4.4 defensive and 3.9 offensive – per game over his FSU career.
At 27 years old, James’ biggest negative is his age. He also shot just 52.7 percent from the free throw line, but teams would draft James for his defense.
Where the Celtics could get him: James is expected to be drafted in the second round or go undrafted.
Notes: Before going to college, James spent six years in the military with tours in Qatar, Afghanistan and Iraq. He served as a staff sergeant in the Air Force and played basketball while in the military. James, who didn’t play basketball in high school, attended Tallahassee Community College for two years before transferring to FSU. … On March 3 of his senior season James was involved in a scrum during a game against Virginia when he kicked sophomore Joe Harris and was ejected. James later issued a letter of apology. … His career 62.7 shooting percentage ranks second in school history while his 2.4 blocks per game puts him first.
Here is a video of James talking about the influence of his military service along with a few highlights of his game.