Ray McCallum, who starred at the University of Detroit Mercy, was selected in the second round by the Sacramento Kings in Thursday’s NBA Draft.
McCallum was taken with the 36th overall pick.
“I didn’t believe or think it was official until I saw it on TV. I waited four hours and ten minutes to see my name and my face and it took a while to hit me that I was really drafted.”
McCallum left the Titans basketball program with one year of eligibility remaining.
“Everything I was hearing was pretty true,” said McCallum when I spoke to him late Thursday night. “When it got to the late first round, around 27, 28, I knew I probably wouldn’t go in the first. There were a lot of trades going on. I thought I would go early in the second.
“By the 32nd pick, my agent called and said the Kings were going to take me with the 36th pick.”
His route to Sacramento was an interesting one.
Earlier this spring, McCallum worked out for the Denver Nuggets and felt like he left a good impression with Pete D’Allesandro and Mike Bratz, who worked in Denver’s player personnel department.
Days after McCallum’s workout, D’Allesandro and Bratz both moved to Sacramento to become the Kings general manager and assistant general manager, respectively.
“I thought I’d go to Denver,” said McCallum. “But the people who liked me had left. We had gotten to know each other pretty well.”
Clearly, D’Allesandro and Bratz took their notes from Denver to Sacramento because they continued to hold the Horizon League's player of the year in high regard and pounced on the opportunity to select him.
“I’m really excited about this opportunity,” said McCallum. I’ll be in a great situation with people who like me and support me and I’ll be able to grow as a player. I’m excited for this.
“I never look back or regret anything. I knew coming in I had a chance to be late-first, early-second. Either way I’d be put in a good situation. I got the right feedback from the right people and all the feedback was pretty accurate. I stayed true to myself and listened to my family and the people on my side.”
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