Incoming Duke freshman Justin Bellinger, an 11th-round draft pick by the St. Louis Cardinals earlier this month, said Friday that he’s turning down the Cardinals’ contract offer and will report to Duke on Sunday.
A second chance at hoops. A second chance at life.
Power-hitting prospect rejects St. Louis offer
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P.J. Hairston was selected with the 26th pick by the Miami Heat, who then sent him to the Charlotte Hornets as part of an earlier trade. The Greensboro native worked out twice with the Hornets, who are owned by Michael Jordan and were desperate for a shooter.
DUKE STAR PLEASED AT MILWAUKEE'S COMMITMENT TO HIM iN DRAFT
Commitment means something to Jabari Parker.
He appreciated how much Duke coveted his services for college basketball when he came out of Chicago’s Simeon High School last year as the nation’s top prep basketball player.
On Thursday night, when the time came to take his game to its highest level, he saw another team live up to its word by committing to him.
In the days leading up to the NBA Draft, the Milwaukee Bucks told Parker they wanted him if Cleveland didn’t select him with the No.1 overall pick.
When the Cavaliers selected Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins, Milwaukee followed through, picked Parker and brought him back to his Midwestern roots.
“It’s just been real humbling to get anybody who just wants you,” Parker said. “I’ve been having the luxury of Duke and Simeon really embracing me and the Bucks have shown that by picking me up. Even if it was the No. 1 pick, the No. 3 pick, I’m just so, so glad and so grateful.”
The Cavaliers considered the 6-8 Parker for the top pick along with Australian teenager Dante Exum, a 6-5 shooting guard and son of former UNC player Cecil Exum, and Wiggins’ Kansas teammate Joel Embiid.
PARKER (BUCKS), WARREN (SUNS), HOOD (JAZZ) ARE TOP AREA PICKS
Duke’s Jabari Parker wound up going where he expected, T.J. Warren of Durham and N.C. State perhaps a little bit higher while former Blue Devil Rodney Hood waited the longest to learn his NBA fate.
Parker assured Duke of having first-round draft picks in four consecutive NBA drafts Thursday night when Milwaukee took him with the No. 2 overall pick of the NBA Draft at the Barclays Center.
Later, Warren became the first Durham native drafted in the first round in 21 years when Phoenix selected the former Wolfpack and Riverside High School star with the 14th overall pick.
Hood, who worked out for teams like Sacramento and Charlotte who owned top-10 picks, fell to a place far away yet he’ll have familiarity. With the No. 23 pick, Hood went to the Utah Jazz, who have a new head coach in former Duke guard and assistant coach Quin Snyder. Another former Duke player, Antonio Lang, is one of Snyder’s assistant coaches.
“It means a lot,” Hood said. “Duke is a real big family. Just because I decided to come to the NBA doesn’t mean I’m shamed from the family. Duke is a big brotherhood. I just thank Quin Snyder and the general manager and the people that made the decision on me. I really appreciate it.”
Milwaukee had shown strong pre-draft interest in Parker and they gladly grabbed him after Cleveland took Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins with the No. 1 overall pick.
NBA-bound basketball star said his short time in Durham left life-long results
DUKE'S PARKER AND HOOD LIKELY LOTTERY PICKS IN THURSDAY'S NBA DRAFT
Brought together to lead Duke to another NCAA championship, Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood saw their Blue Devil careers end far short of that.
Yet, even though they played just one season together for coach Mike Krzyzewski, they formed a bond they will carry into the next level of basketball at the NBA Draft tonight.
Having worked out for only the draft’s top teams, Parker said Milwaukee has told him it will take him with the No. 2 pick if he’s available.
Hood made a tour of NBA teams this month, holding 11 workouts. From Phoenix and Sacramento to Charlotte and Philadelphia, Hood showed off his accurate shooting stroke for them all.
All along, Hood and Parker remained in close contact, trading notes and talking basketball.
“I’ve been working out for a lot more teams than he has,” Hood said Wednesday. “But it’s been great going through it with somebody that you know and care about and you hope he does well. I know he hopes that I do well.”
Parker led Duke in scoring with 19.1 points per game on the way to being named a first-team all-American as a freshman. Hood was next at 16.1 points per game while also carrying the responsibility as a team captain for the Blue Devils.
In those pre-draft workouts, Hood has impressed teams such that Sacramento at No. 8 and Charlotte at No. 9 have considered him for those slots.
It's going to be tough in 2014-15 for Duke to improve on this past year. Athletic director Kevin White thinks the Blue Devils can do it. In an interview with The Associated Press, White called it a "really good year" but added that "we were really close to having one of those really great years."
RIVERSIDE'S TJ WARREN IS LIKELY 1ST ROUND PICK IN THURSDAY'S NBA DRAFT
From the ACC blood running through his veins to pickup games with future NBA players across town when he played at Riverside High School, T.J. Warren seemed destined to make Durham basketball history.
He did so last season at N.C. State by winning ACC player of the year and he’s set to take it a step further at the NBA Draft tonight.
Warren joins 19 other top prospects as invited guests to the NBA Draft at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, where he’s projected to be a first-round pick.
If things go as expected, the 6-8 high-scoring forward will be the first Durham native since Hillside High School’s Rodney Rogers in 1993 to be a first-round pick in the NBA Draft.
“That means a lot,” Warren said. “Growing up in Durham in a tough environment, just to be able to do something positive playing the game I love is big for me and for the city as well.”
Warren followed his father, former N.C. State player Tony Warren, to play for the Wolfpack. He topped his father by being named ACC player of the year after averaging a league-leading 24.9 points per game last season and leading the Wolfpack to a third consecutive NCAA Tournament berth.
His bloodlines were only the beginning of his indoctrination to high-level basketball. When Warren played at Riverside early in his high school career, he would head to Duke for pick-up games with guys like Nolan Smith, Jon Scheyer and Kyle Singler — all starters on Duke’s 2010 NCAA championship team.
North Carolina will boast seven athletes and Duke two on the 2014-15 U.S. women’s national field hockey team, as announced Wednesday by Coach Craig Parnham.
Top NBA prospect believes he'll go to Mlwaukee with the No. 2 pick
EX-UNC KEEPER SHUTS OUT L.A., DONOVAN IN CARY
Landon Donovan now has even more reason to be upset with his summer — thanks in no small part to former North Carolina goalkeeper Scott Goodwin.
Goodwin and the Carolina RailHawks shut down Donovan and the L.A. Galaxy over 90 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of extra time to come away with a 1-0 win Tuesday in the U.S. Open Cup.
Donovan, the leading scorer in the history on the U.S. National Team, wasn’t selected for the 23-player 2014 U.S. World Cup team. So instead of facing Germany on Thursday in front of hundreds of millions of viewers in Brazil, he joined his club team for a round of 16 game against the RailHawks in front of 3,000 fans at Koka Booth Stadium.
The auxiliary field at WakeMed Soccer Park was used because the 10,000-seat main stadium is being resodded.
“I enjoyed it,” Donovan said. “I can’t speak for everybody but I enjoyed it. It’s different. I thought the crowd was great, they gave us a good game, the field was great, the weather was great. It was an enjoyable night except for the result.”
Because of an injury to Carolina’s regular goalie, Goodwin was pressed into service and stopped eight shots — including one from inside the penalty area by Donovan, who came in as a sub in the 64th minute and played the rest of the game.
Sharp-shooting wing player impresses Charlotte