Excited Ndiaye Bound for Washington

After getting drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the second round (56th overall), center Hamady Ndiaye had his rights sent to the Washington Wizards. As he told ScarletReport.com after the draft, it capped an emotional day that included tears being shed on another continent, a dream being closer to realized and the culmination of a lot of hard work.

The day included grocery shopping, hangin' out with friends and lots of anxiety, but ended with tears of joy with two of the best phone calls Hamady Ndiaye's life.

The first came from the Washington Wizards telling Ndiaye, the former Rutgers center, he was going to be selected in a few minutes with the 56th pick of Thursday's NBA draft.

The other profoundly meaningful call was placed by Ndiaye to his parents, Mazide and Henriette, who were asleep at the family's home in Dakar, Senegal.

"I definitely woke them up back in Africa," Ndiaye said with a big laugh about an hour after being selected. "My mom was all in tears and my dad was all happy and everything. I definitely had to wake them up to tell them the news."

Ndiaye was actually drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves through a pre-existing agreement with the Wizards. After the draft concluded four picks later, Ndiaye's rights were sent to the Wizards, who called to welcome him to the organization.

"They just congratulated me and welcomed me to the team," Ndiaye said. "They said they were looking forward to seeing me and working with me."

Ndiaye is the first Rutgers player to be drafted since Quincy Douby was selected in 19th overall in 2006 by the Sacramento Kings.

It was the culmination of a torturously long day for the 7-foot Ndiaye, who did everything possible to try and whittle time away while he waited for the draft to begin.

"I sat down outside," he said. "I was up pretty early, walked around a lot, played a little basketball around by myself, went food shopping, drove around with my friends just to try to kill the time and wait for the draft to start.

"I tried every little thing. I tried not to look at my watch, but it wasn't working."

The day grew even longer as the draft progressed deep into Thursday night, and his name remained on the board.

However, as midnight approached and the draft neared its conclusion, Ndiaye acknowledged his nerves began to fray.

"As the draft counts down, you start getting scared and I started having my heart go all over the place," Ndiaye said. "I tried my best to remain calm. I had a couple of family and friends around me, and everyone was feeling pretty much the same way. It was just waiting."

Finally, a few minutes before the 56th pick, the Wizards called Ndiaye to say they were taking him, providing he was still available.

The Wizards drafted Ndiaye for his length and defensive ability. He has a 7-foot-4 wing span, left Rutgers as the school's single-season (145) and career (358) shot block leader and was the Big East's Defensive Player of the Year after averaging 4.5 blocks per game.

"I had faith," Ndiaye said. "I knew I did all I could, and so we just waited until my name was called. From that point it was just a really, really great time for me. It's one of those times you never forget in your life."

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