Through the 2014 NBA Draft on June 26 in New York, New York, Florida Gators center Patric Young will be keeping you up-to-date on his Path to the Draft with exclusive comprehensive blog entries here at OnlyGators.com.
The 11th player in school history to end his career with more than 1,300 points and 800 rebounds, Young averaged a career-high 11.0 points per game as a senior and also contributed 6.2 boards per contest last season. He is second all-time at Florida in games played (149), fifth in blocks (159) and dunks (142), eighth in minutes played (1,644), and ninth in field goal percentage (.577) and games started (107).
Young in 2013-14 claimed SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors for the first time but was also named SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the third-straight season, becoming the first player in league history to accomplish that feat.
He checks in for the seventh time from Minneapolis, Minnesota, having now completed eight of his 14 total team visits scheduled ahead of the NBA Draft.
Last time I checked in I was in Oklahoma City on Sunday night, preparing for a workout with the Thunder on Monday. I did not know what to expect going there, but I was definitely excited about that visit. I had heard such great things about the people there and the organization. The city is obviously not a big city compared to some of the other places I’ve visited, but you can tell they have a die-hard fan base, like a college team.
On Sunday night, the team took all of us visiting out for dinner to Kevin Durant’s restaurant [KD’s Southern Cuisine]. It was amazing. His restaurant is amazing. If you like southern food, you’d be really happy there with the catfish, country fried steak. It was so good. I got baked catfish stuffed with crab meat; oh my God, it was incredible.
The next morning, obviously I ran into an issue before I even got to the workout. We were in a car 20 minutes away from the Thunder facility when I realized that I forgot my shoes at the hotel. I have no idea why I didn’t bring my bag, but I asked one of the guys to go back and get my shoes and they did.
When we got to the facility, they took us right to the cafeteria to eat breakfast. They had the best pancakes I’ve ever had in my life. The facility as a whole was amazing; it was probably the best out of every team I’ve been to so far in this process. You can tell they really take care of their guys.
We spoke with the general manager, who said his idea behind doing so much for the guys is that when they get to the gym, all they have to focus on is basketball. They have a lot of really cool things there that make it a very comfortable, welcoming place.
After the standard testing, I worked out with Daniel Miller (Georgia Tech), Jahii Carson (Arizona State), Damian Inglis (France), Markel Brown (Oklahoma State) and Jordan Adams (UCLA). There was not too much head-to-head competition, but they had some cool drills for us to do. I thought I did well in the workout and interview, too.
Because my next visit was not until later in the week on Thursday, I stayed in Oklahoma City an extra night and the team was nice enough to take me out for dinner again. I knew someone on the staff from USA Basketball, so we got to hang out and it was definitely nice to relax for a little bit.
I flew out to Utah on Tuesday, two days before my workout. I don’t want to talk trash about the hotel in Utah because it was nice; I was in a really nice room. But what kind of hotel that’s that nice does not have high definition televisions? You guys know I’m a big video game player. I brought my Xbox because I knew I was going to be in the room for a long time before my workout, and I could not even hook it up to the TV!
I felt weird about it, but I called down to the front desk and asked if I could move to a room with an HDTV, even if I had to downgrade to a regular room or something. She said, “Sir, I’m sorry. All of our TVs are like that.” I was kind of speechless but obviously had to deal with it.
As it turns out, I did not leave my room once for those two days before the workout. I was on my iPad watching The Wire, doing some reading, getting some extra sleep and texting with friends. My iPad was probably angry with me for how much I used it, honestly; I found games to play on the iPad all day. I didn’t do anything but hang out, order room service and relax. I even turned away housekeeping.
I’ve still been killing the room service, don’t you worry.
Anyway, the workout with the Jazz was a tough one. I went up against Jabari Brown (Missouri), Alec Brown (Green Bay), Chaz Williams (UMass), Jordan Adams (UCLA) and TJ Bray (Princeton). The altitude definitely got to me and some of the other guys; Utah understood that and did not push us too hard.
My mom saw my post-workout interview online and thought I sounded really tired, so I know it at least came through that I worked hard. I had interviewed with Utah previously at the NBA Combine, but they wanted to find out a little bit more about me so we did meet again while I was there.
I flew to Dallas right after the workout in Utah because it was scheduled for the next day on Friday. Nick Russell (SMU), Fuquan Edwin (Seton Hall), Jordan McRae (Tennessee), Khem Birch (Louisville) and Melvin Ejim (Iowa State) were all on that visit with me. That was a good workout with a lot of great competition, some tough three-on-three drills.
Jordan McRae is a bit of a clown out there – in a good way. He wants to make sure all the guys are having fun and not taking things too seriously.
I definitely think I did really, really well in the workout with the Mavericks. I spent most of the time guarding Khem Birch, who I had 40 pounds on, so there were times when I was able to dominate a little bit.
In the interview with Dallas, they asked me about football a couple times – if I ever played, considered playing, etc. They thought it was hilarious that I actually played baseball instead of pitcher, joking that I was probably looked pretty dominant standing on the mound at my size.
The only thing I regret from the Mavericks visit is that I did not get a picture with Dirk [Nowitski] or Mark Cuban, the owner. Both of them were there at the facility when I was working out and walking around.
We went back to the hotel after, and I stayed an extra night with Fuquan Edwin. He was talking so much trash about how he could beat me in FIFA on Xbox, but I beat him three games in a row. We played international teams in honor of the World Cup.
I flew out of Dallas on Saturday afternoon and landed here in Minnesota through a storm delay. I met up with two guys who used to work on the Florida Gators staff whose names some fans may recognize – Josh Adel and Billy O’Meara. We hung out on Saturday and watched some Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I stayed at their house Saturday night and then spent Sunday helping out at a youth shooting camp at the school.
They made me an honorary Golden Gopher for the day.
Josh surprised me by putting me on the spot, telling the kids [ages 8-14] that I would speak to them and tell them about my career, getting to the Final Four. I was not really prepared for it, but I spoke about chasing your dreams, being humble, having a vision and following through.
Then he put me on the spot again and said I had to shoot two pressure free throws with all the kids on the baseline watching me. If I missed, he promised I would buy all 40 kids there new shoes. I was thinking, “First of all, I don’t have any money…” But I stepped up and knocked down both of them and then played some hoops with the kids for a little bit afterward. I played some one-on-one and tried to dunk on one of the kids for fun, but I actually missed it. I definitely had a lot of fun out there.
Now I’m back in the hotel waiting for my work out on Monday with the Timberwolves. It is a busy week with four total workouts in five days, so be sure to check in again next week!