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Damion James Forges Ahead for 2009 NBA Draft

16/4/2009
The Texas junior forward wunderkind Damion James declared for the 2009 NBA Draft yesterday, but stops short of planning to hire an agent, which leaves the option of him coming back for his senior season.

“Ever since I started playing the game of basketball, I’ve dreamed of playing in the NBA,” James said in a prepared statement. “Now I have the chance to live out that dream. I really appreciate the full support of my family and the entire Texas coaching staff through this process. Once I finish up this semester strong academically, I’ll have the opportunity to do workouts for different teams and see where I stand.”

As a result, James will take part in NBA camps and workouts that lead up to the draft at Madison Square Garden in New York City on June 25. However, 10 days before, on June 15, he’ll have to withdraw his name from the draft and maintain his college eligibility.

Last year, senior guard A.J. Abrams did the same thing and said that it was an invaluable experience that taught him areas where he could improve in order to succeed in the NBA.

“It was a great learning process for me,” Abrams said before the beginning of this season. “I learned a lot of things as far as what the NBA people want to see me do.”

James, at 6 feet 7 inches, is essentially in the same boat with room for improvement. Despite strong scoring (15.4 points per game) and rebounding (a team-high 9.2 rebounds per game), he struggled with perimeter shots, and at that stature, he’ll more than likely be an NBA small forward, beyond the paint where he’s very comfortable.

At this stage, most draft pundits see that James will go late in the first round at best.
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