Seniors make first strides toward the pros

All three of the Wildcat seniors are working on their draft status. There are different paths they have to take to gain attention, but the trio has already started preparing for professional careers and a chance to impress NBA scouts.

Rick Anderson's path starts in Portsmouth, VA at the Portsmouth Invitational, a tournament that allows fringe prospects to showcase their wares. Although on the cusp, Anderson is a 6-9 player with a jumpshot, and that will get the attention of NBA scouts.

It is not an easy jump from Portsmouth to the NBA draft, but it does happen. Last year nine performers who played in the event were drafted. Ryan Humphrey, John Salmons and Fred Jones were all first round draft picks, while six others were selected in the second round.

Some noted alumni of the game include Scotty Pippen, Derek Fisher, Bobby Jackson, Cuttino Mobley, Theo Ratliff and Ben Wallace.

Anderson will play on the Portsmouth Sports Club team along with Indiana's Tom Coverdale, Syracuse's Kueth Duany and Henry Dommercant of Eastern Illinois.

Other notable participants include Tahj Holden (Maryland), Tony Bland (SDSU), Ezra Williams (Georgia), Ronald Dupree (LSU), Drew Nicholas (Maryland), Tommy Smith (ASU), Brett Nelson (Florida), Julius Barnes (Stanford) and Quanas White (Oklahoma).

For now Anderson will be represented by his father, Gary, but if Anderson's draft status improves further involvement would be acquired.

Anderson is one class shy of earning his communications degree and will return to school next week.

Luke Walton and Jason Gardner are in the process of finding agents. Both are interviewing potential representatives. Gardner is close to earning his degree, but needs a little more than a semester's worth of classes to graduate. He is in the process of evaluating his draft status and will make a decision on continuing with classes after he looks at the interest the NBA teams have in him.

Walton has his degree and is deciding where he will continue to practice in preparation for NBA workouts. Walton is projected to have the best shot at being drafted.

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