For the second year in a row, a Hampton Roads athlete has the chance to hear his name during the NBA Draft on Thursday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Last year it was Cameron Thomas of Chesapeake. The former Oscar Smith High player was drafted by the Brooklyn Nets with the 27th overall pick. He joined a small group of Hampton Roads players who were drafted in the first round: JR Reid of Virginia Beach (1989, fifth overall), Alonzo Mourning of Chesapeake (1992, second overall), Joe Smith of Norfolk (1995 , first overall) and Hampton’s Allen Iverson (1996, first overall).
Mark Williams of Duke (Norfolk Academy), Dereon Seabron (Lake Taylor) of North Carolina State, David McCormack of Kansas (Norfolk Academy) and Nate Watson of Providence (Churchland) hope to join this list.
Williams is expected to go as high as 13th at Charlotte and as low as 18th at Chicago in several draft simulations. Like Thomas, he was invited and agreed to sit in the green room during the selection process. The 7-foot-2 sophomore will likely be Duke’s first non-freshman to be drafted in the first round since Grayson Allen in 2018.
Last season, he was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year after averaging 11.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.8 blocks. He was a finalist for Naismith Defensive Player of the Year and ranked fifth in the nation in total blocked shots (110).
He now hopes to join his sister, Elizabeth, at the top level of professional basketball. Elizabeth was the Connecticut Sun’s fourth pick in the 2015 WNBA Draft. She is now in her eighth WNBA season.
Then there’s Seabron.
At 6ft 6in – with a wingspan of 6-9 – he is a threat to reach the rim with a deadly first step and good ball handling skills. He causes problems due to his ability to create space with his length and athleticism.
As a Lake Taylor sophomore, he led Lake Taylor to the program’s first appearance in a state championship game. But the Titans couldn’t maintain a late lead and lost to Monaco 57-53.
As a junior, he averaged 17.2 points and seven rebounds, but the Titans lost to Smithfield on a buzzer-beater beyond half court in the region’s quarterfinals.
He wouldn’t be denied in his senior year as he averaged 22.5 points and 11 rebounds, including 24 points and nine rebounds in the Class 4 State Championship Game to lead the Titans to the first title. program status.
He was named the 2018 All-Tidewater Player of the Year and Class 4 Player of the Year.
He went to Massanutten Military Academy for a year to try and get more attention from the Power Five lectures. It worked because the four-star rookie had plenty of offers before signing with NC State.
He spent his first season in a redshirt and averaged 5.2 points and 3.5 rebounds per game the following year.
Last season, he was named the ACC’s Most Improved Player and an All-ACC Second Team member after averaging 17.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.4 steals. .
Now he hopes to hear his name called on Thursday. He has dreamed of this experience since he was 7 years old.
“I’m very excited about the draft,” said Seabron, who met with several teams including Brooklyn, Detroit, Oklahoma City and Orlando. “It was a fun experience going through the whole process, traveling across the country working for multiple teams, meeting the staff members and seeing all the facilities.”
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Numerous mock drafts placed him to go to the second round, between the 49th and 54th picks.
Seabron, 22, just wants to hear his name.
“It would mean the world to me to hear my name called on Thursday night,” he said. “It might be the best day of my life just because it’s something I’ve always dreamed of since I was little and everything I’ve worked for.
“It would just be a good feeling to know that I have the chance to change my life and the life of my family by doing something that I love to do. It would also show all the young people in my city that it is possible as long as you get to work and trust God, everything else will work out.
Lake Taylor coach Derek “Yogi” Edwards said Thursday would be special for everyone involved in the Titans program.
“As coaches, we live through our players as they experience successes and failures,” said Edwards, who was an assistant coach when Seabron played for Lake Taylor. “He would be the first male basketball player in Lake Taylor High history to reach this level. Hopefully it won’t be the last. »
Larry Rubama, 757-575-6449, [email protected]. Follow @LHRubama on Twitter.