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Thursday, April 24, 2014 6:03 AM

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Local basketball players projected for NBA Draft lottery


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Published on: Wednesday, June 26, 2013

By Brandy L. Simms

DeMatha product Victor Oladipo and Maryland center Alex Len are both expected to hear their names called early in Thursday’s NBA Draft at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Oladipo, who declared for the draft after three seasons at Indiana, is projected to be a top five pick. Some mock draft boards even have the Upper Marlboro native going as early as No. 2 overall.

When Oladipo, the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and a first team All-American, walks up onstage to shake NBA Commissioner David Stern’s hand, the moment will mark a milestone in his career.

“It’s going to be a crazy feeling,” Oladipo told ESPN. “I just hope I don’t start crying.”

Oladipo has worked out for Cleveland Cavaliers, Phoenix Suns and the hometown Washington Wizards, which watched the 6-foot-5 guard run through drills at DeMatha.

Cleveland holds the top overall pick followed by Orlando, Washington, Charlotte and Phoenix.

Oladipo, a first team All-WCAC selection during his senior campaign at DeMatha, will become the Hyattsville private school’s first NBA Draft pick in a decade.

Meanwhile, Len, the 7-foot-1 Ukraine native, has been mentioned as a possible No. 1 overall pick in the draft. If that happens, Len would become Maryland’s third top overall NBA Draft pick and the first since Joe Smith was selected by the Golden State Warriors in 1995.

“I watch a lot of NBA,” said Len, “but I don’t have any preferences. I have favorite players but I’m going to play for any team that chooses me. I want to go somewhere I can contribute and I can improve myself.”

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