There hasn’t been a CSU basketball player drafted into the NBA since Jason Smith was taken with the 20th pick in 2007 by the Philadelphia 76ers.
But that may change on June 23 when this year’s draft is held in New Jersey.
CSU’s senior forward Andy Ogide is coming off a season in which he led the Rams in scoring and was named to the first-team all-Mountain West Conference team.
And on Tuesday, Ogide took the first step toward being drafted when he was invited for a personal workout in front of the Denver Nuggets brass.
“Everybody from the Nuggets was there,” Ogide said. “From the president to coach (George) Karl to the general manager. All the coaches were there.”
The workout was set up only a day before, but Ogide was happy with how he performed. And apparently, so were the Nuggets.
Ogide said that Karl spoke highly of him and said that the Nuggets will look to bring Ogide in for a larger pre-draft workout `with other prospects in June.
The prospect of playing on Denver’s summer league team was also brought up to Ogide. Summer league teams are often full of young players looking to earn a spot on the official roster once the season begins.
Summer league might be in limbo as there is a possibility of a labor lockout at the end of the current season.
No matter what the labor situation, Ogide plans on doing everything he can to be prepared for the draft.
Following next week when he will finish his master’s degree in management practice, Ogide will travel to Chicago to train at an elite workout facility run by legendary trainer Tim Grover.
Grover’s workout center, Attack Athletics, is a hub for legendary basketball players. The facility has seen some of the biggest stars in the game go through its doors. The client list includes Kobe Bryant, current Nugget Raymond Felton, Dwight Howard, Paul Pierce, and most notably, Michael Jordan.
Despite the positive early signs, there are no guarantees that Ogide will get drafted. He played center for CSU but is very undersized for that position, listed at 6-foot-9-inches.
The lack of basketball history at CSU could also hinder him.
“From what I can tell it’s going to be tough coming from a smaller school that’s a little off of the radar,” Ogide said. “I’m going to have to work harder. That’s what one of the Nuggets assistant coaches said, just keep working and I’ll be all right. So that’s what I’m going to do.”
For now, Ogide is just enjoying the process that has come after years of hard work to reach this point.
“It’s very exciting to be going through the process and having a shot,” Ogide said. “Just have a shot. That’s all you can ask for.”
Men’s Basketball Beat Reporter Kevin Lytle can be reached at email@example.com.