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Gray Drafted In Late Second Round
Posted Jun 28, 2007
Aaron Gray's wild three-month journey is over, and it ended with him being selected by the Chicago Bulls with the 49th overall pick and the 21st in the second round during the annual NBA Draft late Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.
"He's another guy with a big body,'' ESPN analyst Jay Bilas said. "He can take up space and rebound and helps Chicago in the post a little bit. He's not a great athlete, not a guy that's going to score over you, but a great space eater.''
A starting center the past two seasons for the University of
men's basketball team,
worked out for 16 NBA teams.
"This was a great experience, and I'm happy with all the work I put into it,'' Gray said. "I did everything I could possibly do to get ready for this day.''
Gray worked extremely hard after Pitt's season ended in the NCAA Tournament this past March. However, he was out of shape and in poor condition primarily because he could not train properly due to a severe ankle injury a month earlier during a home game against
. But once Gray was healthy, he went to work.
After a month in Las Vegas with trainer Joe Abunassar, Gray reportedly weighed 271 pounds -- about 15 lighter than he was after the season. And his body fat went from 16 to 10.5 percent. This likely helped Gray run the court during his whirlwind tour of NBA cities.
"Aaron was one of the hardest working players we've ever had here,'' Pitt coach
said. "I believe he has put himself in position to be in the NBA for a long time. So, barring injury, he should have an excellent NBA career, and that's what we had hoped for him.''
Gray left for Las Vegas the night after he graduated from Pitt, and he worked out three times daily during the month there. The first Big East player selected in the draft was Conference Player of the Year
. He went fifth overall to the
Gray watched the NBA Draft from his parents' home in Emmaus, Pa.
Three players from
were taken in the top nine in the first round, while two from
went in the top four, including No. 1 selection
by the Portland Trailblazers. Also, among the top 12 picks in the first round, six were freshmen with NCAA Player of the Year
going second overall to the Seattle Supersonics. And just two seniors were taken in the top 14 (lottery picks).
Gray Preparing For NBA Draft
Jun 27, 2007
Panthers Pre-Game: UCLA
Mar 22, 2007
Dixon takes on his Mentor
Mar 18, 2007
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