May 2, 2006

Blair enters the NBA draft

by Matthew Hegarty, Sports Reporter

Last Monday, April 17, Liberty University’s most visible men’s basketball player put the National Basketball Association office on notice: Junior Larry Blair is eligible for the 2006 NBA Draft on Wednesday, June 28.

In an interview last Wednesday, Blair was very optimistic about his chances to perform well in the upcoming NBA pre-draft camp from June 6-10 in Orlando, Fla. Still, he understands that because of where he goes to school, he will automatically have to exert more effort. “I know I have the talent to play at (the NBA) level,” Blair said. “I’ll just have to work a lot harder coming from a smaller Division I school.”

The Charlotte, N.C., native expressed his intent to get stronger before the camp. He is unsure of all the drills they will put him through, but he said that he has a friend that has been working out with NBA players and has given him a heads-up on some expectations for those players.

Blair mentioned that he also wanted to “just stay consistent with (his) shooting” in order to prepare himself for June 6.

 

He plans to work on his quickness and to “get in more of a defensive mindset before the camp.”

He is relatively small for a point guard. However, if the 2005-06 season is any indication, his size will not be much of an issue – according to www.libertyflames.com, Blair averaged almost 23 points per game. His agility was plainly evident on the court as was his ability to captain a team without senior leadership.

Blair pointed out that his small size would be an asset in the pre-draft camp. “I’m quick enough to go past two or three positions, like shooting guards or small forwards,” he said. “I can use (my size) to my advantage…For the most part, people my height don’t have my jumping ability. I can shock some people. Since they’re my size, I can do things they don’t think I can do.”

He is content to try his best and display his skills to scouts in hopes of getting drafted. “It would be a blessing to get picked up by any team,” he said. “If I had a choice, it would be Charlotte, just because it’s my hometown – but it really doesn’t matter to me.”

Blair said that in order to not jeopardize his eligibility, he has not contacted coaches, managers, or team associates. In addition, he did not hire an agent, and that action will serve as a contingency plan for him to possibly return to Liberty for a senior season if he does not sufficiently impress the NBA scouts on hand in Orlando.

He said his teammates and coaches were very supportive of his decision. “People around school told me they would be praying for me, that they support me 100 percent. I’ll just take that and put it in my bag and keep (the prayers) on my heart when I’m trying to go for it.”

Regardless of the outcome this June, Blair affirmed that he fully intends to complete his degree in sports management. “That’s something that can never be taken away,” he said. “I take pride in that. I always look at (my degree) as something that is beyond what any sport can do.”

 Contact Matthew Hegarty at mjhegarty@liberty.edu.


Printable Version


» Men’s Hockey splits opening weekend series
» There’s no place like home
» Four minutes with Pat
» Flames volleyball dethrones Dukes
» Are athletes or reporters to blame?
» Men’s Soccer misfires in consecutive losses