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July 02, 2007 - Image 13

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2007-07-02

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sports@michigondaily.com
734-764-8585

Monday, July 2, 2007
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com 1
No Wolverines picked in
NBA Draft once again

By MARK GIANNOTTO
Daily Sports Writer
NEW YORK - Childhood
dreams came true at the 2007 NBA
Draft Thursday night. Sixty col-
lege-aged basketball players were
selected by NBA teams and offi-
cially became professionals. Many
of them became millionaires.
But there is no happy ending
for any members of the Michigan
men's basketball team's 2007 grad-
uating class - at least not yet.
Lester Abram, Dion Harris,
Brent Petway and Courtney Sims
were not among those drafted at
the Madison Square Garden The-
ater. This marks the third-consec-
utive year that no Wolverine was
picked.
Going undrafted isn't the end of
the road in regards to NBA star-
dom. For these four, it is likely just
the beginning in a longer, harder
journey. All four will now try to

latch on to an NBA summer league
team. Petway has already signed
on with the Atlanta Hawks for
sunmer league play, which begins
July 6 in Las Vegas.
The McDonough, Ga. native
will now have a chance to play for
his hometown team.
"(Brent) chose to sign with the
Hawks as a function of desire and
opportunity," said Geoffrey Craig,
Petway's agent. "We were in touch
with every NBA team and felt this
was the best situation for him."
Prior to the draft, Petway
worked out with the Portland
Trail Blazers and Detroit Pistons,
in addition to the Hawks. Accord-.
ing to ESPN.com, Sims worked out
for the Boston Celtics a few weeks
ago. But reports indicate he was
little more than a workout partner
for former Florida forward Joakim
Noah, who went ninth to the Chi-
cago Bulls.
Abram, Harris and Sims could

not be reached for comment.
Many sports agents actually
prefer the scenario Petway and
the other three graduated seniors
must now go through. Going
undrafted can sometimes be bet-
ter than getting selected in the
second round, where contracts are
not guaranteed.
"A lot of times a player is bet-
ter off going undrafted than being
the 59th or 60th pick in the draft
because then as soon as the draft
is over, you're a free agent," said
agentBradAmes ofPrioritySports.
"You've got 30 teams to negotiate
with or to try and get interested
in your client rather than the one
that drafts you."
Their omission from the NBA
Draft couldn't have come as much
of a shock for the four former Wol-
verines. None were even listed
amongst the 133 possible picks in
the guide rsailed to members of the
See BASKETBALL, Page 16

Brent Petway signed with the Atlanta Hawks after not being drafted,

Amaker failed quartet in its pursuit of dream

ollege helps most people pre-
pare for success in their cho-
sen professional field.
If you want to
be a lawyer, doc-
tor or go into busi-
ness, you're in
pretty good shape
at Michigan. And
there are myriad
other programs -
at the Univer- H.JOSE
sity that help you BOSCH
become the best in
your field once you The Bosch
graduate. Wofch
Sports aren't
much different. While some players
may not take college as seriously, the
fact of the matter is clege sor is can
help a player become iore seasoned
befor e or she steps up to the profes-
sional ranks, especially in the big rev-
enue sports.
It's sitple: The more time you
spend playing a sport in college, the
more experience you have to take with

you to the pros.
Unfortunately for Lester Abram,
Dion Harris, Brent Petway and Court-
ney Sims, former Michigan men's bas-
ketball coach Tommy Amaker didn't
do much to help develop them into
legitimate professional prospects. The
case of Harmris is especially sad consid-
ering he had the most potential of the
four coming into Michigan.
The players didn't help themselves,
eitlser. At times they seemed almost
;,sthitic when their season and, ulti-
mately their basketball careers, were
going down the drain.
But regardless of who is more to
blamne for the failure of the class of
2007, Amaker's inability to develop his
players hurt not only the program, but
also the players' chances of fulfilling
the childhood dream of playing pro-
fessional sports.
College is a great experience and
it's tlit time in a person'; life that
will always live in his or her memo-
ry. But it's just fleeting and without
taking advantage of it, you'll have a

hard time succeeding at something
you love to do.
There are exceptions. College isn't
an immutable necessity for success
and happiness either in sports or in
life. But it can't hurt.
The saddest thing about Thursday's
NBA Draft isn't the lack of prestige
that comes with pumping out profes-
sional athletes each and every season.
Or the pride of buying the professionam
jersey ufa playery uswatelsed frossthe
Maize Rage on a weekly basis every
year while you were in school.
It's that four childhood dreams
weren't fulfilled. One coach couldn't
celebrate like a proud parent.
And the Michigan basketball pro-
gram didn't uphold a tradition of u
excellence that runs across every facet
of the University.
Hopefully new Michigan coach,
John Beilein will never let this hap-
pen again.
- - --- ALLISON GHAMAN
-Bosch can be reached at Former Michigan men's basketball coach Tommy Amaker may not has
hectobostumich.edu done enough to ensure his players post-collegiate on-court success.

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