|A mom’s NBA draft diary: Strong workouts a boost for Michael Carter-Williams||06.07.13 at 11:45 am ET|
Hamilton resident Mandy Carter-Zegarowski, the mother of Syracuse point guard Michael Carter-Williams and the girls basketball coach at Ipswich High School, is chronicling the days leading up to the June 28 NBA draft through blog entries for WEEI.com. Carter-Williams, who prepped at Hamilton-Wenham High School and Rhode Island’s St. Andrews School before spending two seasons at Syracuse, is projected to be a lottery pick.
On May 24th Chad Ford, ESPN Insider writer, came to Glen Cove [N.Y.] to watch Michael and a few other players from Excel [Sports Management] play. He covers the draft extensively and wanted to see Michael, C.J. [McCollum] and Mike [Muscala] work out.
Michael’s shooting has been the talk of his downside, so Chad wanted to come out and see what was going on. Michael did a workout with [trainer] Jay [Fernandez] while Chad filmed it. Having to shoot under pressure in front of a well-respected sports journalist had to make him nervous, but we saw no signs of nerves. The workout was at a local Boys & Girls Club. Michael shot very well. He hit 3-pointers, NBA threes, mid-range jumpers, and was explosive off the dribble getting to the basket.
I had never met Chad before, and both [Carter-Williams' stepfather] Zach [Zegarowski] and I enjoyed talking hoop with him after the workout. We talked about what he was hearing from GMs. He explained how his draft rankings focus more on matching a player with a team need. Because there isn’t a LeBron James in this year’s draft, teams are looking for a player who will fit in with their current roster of players. Some teams say they are going to pick the best player available, but the best player in the top 10 isn’t obvious, it will be more the opinion of the NBA team. Nerlens [Noel], who has been on the top of most draft boards, is injured, and that leaves some questions, but he will definitely go 1 or 2. Nerlens Noel is a close friend of Michael’s and spends a lot of time at our house. It is pretty amazing to have both of them and Ricky Ledo in the draft. Ricky went to St. Andrews [in Rhode Island] with Michael for a year and they have stayed friends since sophomore year.
For Michael, Chad coming to watch him and then write about him was positive. If Michael shot poorly and did not have a good workout I don’t think Chad would have written anything negative but he would have let his readers know through his draft board that Michael has work to do. He said to us that Michael looks way more athletic and explosive in person and that if he performs like he did for him at his NBA workouts, he will be in a great position.