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 ninth time from Jacksonville, Florida, having finally completed all 13 of his team visits ahead of the NBA Draft.
It feels really good to be home.
I flew back on Tuesday and actually took a flight with Johnny O’Bryant from Detroit to Atlanta and then we split ways and I got in my plane to Jacksonville. I was in coach – regular coach – not even the exit row. My knees were already touching – they were like jammed with the back of the chair. The lady in front of me, who was like 5’3”, kept trying to put her seat back into my knees even further. I did not want to say anything, so I had to keep my legs up there kind of fighting her off for like 15 minutes until she gave up and thought that it was not going to be moving back for her.
Before I was able to come home though, I had two more visits at the start of this week with the Boston Celtics on Monday and Detroit Pistons on Tuesday. I was feeling tired entering the Boston workout but just tried to go with whatever I had left in the tank over the final two days. In all, I completed 13 workouts in 28 days.
I played with Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State), Travis Bader (Oakland), Jeronne Maymon (Tennessee), Aaron Craft (Ohio State) and Nick Johnson (Arizona) in that workout. I shot it OK overall, and it was an OK workout overall, but as I said I was just so tired and worn down. Honesty, I was just happy to get it over with.
There was no interview after the workout, so I was able to shower and jump on a plane to see the Pistons. I did not arrive in Detroit until around 10 p.m., so I got room service at 10:30 p.m. and killed it for one last time. I got like 15 barbeque wings, shrimp alfredo and this awesome blueberry cobbler. Unfortunately, I had trouble falling sleep and did not pass out until around 3 a.m. The bad part is that I had to wake up at 6:30 a.m. because we left at 7:15 a.m. for the visit.
The Detroit workout was much better than the Boston one; it was one of my favorites. They seemed to really like me as well. I was there with Johnny O’Bryant III (LSU), Michalis Kamperidis (Greece), C.J. Fair (Syracuse), Joe Harris (Virginia) and Travis Bader was there, too. Stan Van Gundy was there watching the workout – he spoke to us at Florida during last season – but I did not get a chance to talk to him.
There were a lot of Ben Wallace comparisons while I was visiting the Pistons; the general managers kept saying it. They said, coming out of college, Ben was a very similar guy to me. He was not on the radar as much, got drafted by Orlando, then came to Detroit and just got so much better. He was able to become one of the all-time greats at what he did. They said they saw that in me and knew I would embrace a similar role.
I finally got home to Jacksonville in the evening on Tuesday, had a bite and then went to sleep. On Wednesday, I went to see my high school basketball coach and visited a camp he was running, spoke to the kids and tried to encourage them however I could. I went to the beach for a bit, but it was way too hat – way too hot for me. I also lifted weights for the first time in a month – all lower body. I got a hair cut – want to look good for the big day. Then I hung out with my grandparents and came back home to chill with my family and have a relaxing evening.
My plans for Thursday are to first go shopping, buy a new button down with a tie. Then I’ll watch the United States soccer game at noon at a pub or bar or something. I feel like I’m only American if I’m with a bunch of Americans watching the game. I want to feel as American as possible while watching the match.
I’ll go back home after that, get dressed and then go out to [Editor’s Note: location redacted] and wait for my name to be called. The place we rented out is definitely a lounge atmosphere, a popular place here in Jacksonville. It will be filled with family and friends, all the people that have been through this journey in my life and praying for me to succeed. There will also be a camera from a local station filming the whole thing; they will air it locally and then send it directly to ESPN in case they want to use it.
I just wanted to take a moment and thank all of the Florida Gators fans that have been following me through this process and reading every one of my Path to the Draft blogs.
It’s still surreal that I no longer will be wearing the orange and blue on the outside, but it will forever be flowing through my veins. It’s a new journey in my life, and as I go and step into this new chapter, I’m never going to forget how supportive and loving you guys were, how much fun I had at Florida just being a Gator and wearing that uniform every night.
Just because I’m not going to be out there trying to get you guys excited and pumped with dunks and blocks anymore, hopefully you guys can continue to watch me do some of that on the next level.
Thank you again, so much. I can’t wait to see where I end up. Wish me luck! I’ll try to do my best to never change. Know you guys will always be in my hearts. Thank you so much, and God bless.
PATH TO THE DRAFT – PREVIOUS ENTRIES
» PART I: Looking back at career, forward to NBA Draft
» PART II: Hiring an agent, graduating, training for the combine
» NBA COMBINE: Full Two-Day Results
» PART III: Combine Recap: Meetings with the Grizzlies, Pelicans
» PART IV: Combine Recap: Meets with the Knicks, Jazz
» PART V: Visits with the Suns, Spurs, 76ers
» PART VI: Visits with the Bulls, Knicks (and fun)
» PART VII: Visits with the Thunder, Jazz, Mavericks
» PART VIII: Visits with the Timberwolves, Rockets and Clippers