Simmons making the rounds

Following one of the best seasons in Washington Men's basketball history, three players from last year's team have been making the rounds with NBA clubs, showcasing their skills and making impressions. Nate Robinson is the big name and Will Conroy was the leader of the team, but Chester ‘Tre' Simmons was the silent assassin. His prospects for being drafted in the first round have increased as the workouts have progressed.

Simmons finished second on the team in scoring at 16 points per game and third in rebounding with 4.8 per game. While he could hit a three-pointer seemingly in his sleep, teams wanted to get to know Simmons more before they felt comfortable with him.

"They've seen me play a bunch of times in college," Simmons told in a recent interview. "They really just wanted to sit down with me and get to know me personally. New York, the (San Antonio) Spurs, and Memphis really liked me.

"I've been hearing around that I'm probably going in the late first (round) from how good I've been doing in these workouts."

One player with some NBA-credibility is former Rainier Beach guard Jamaal Crawford, who played last year for the New York Knicks. Crawford and Simmons know each other well and his words were music to Simmons' ears. "He thinks I can make it," Simmons recalled. "He says, ‘I know you're going to make it' so that really boosted my confidence."

Because Simmons had a big-name player like Robinson ahead of him, most fans who don't follow Husky basketball recognize Tre's name or his game. He realizes he is a sleeper prospect, but he plans on changing that status quickly.

"I'm definitely going to fly under the radar," Simmons said laughing. "I already knew it was like that. I only played two years of Division-I basketball, where most everyone else has played four years. People will know my name soon."

He is working out with Robinson and Conroy all the time, adding, "I'm about to go work out with Will in a little while."

He and Conroy are both headed to Chicago at the end of the month to go through pre-Draft workouts, hoping to continue impressing coaches and scouts while he is in the Windy City.

As far as school is concerned, Simmons hasn't taken any classes this quarter because his schedule has been so hectic. However, he plans on finishing. "School is very important to me," he said. "It is very important for me to finish."

Simmons added that the hometown Seattle Sonics will be hosting Conroy and himself within the next couple weeks, so there is a chance local fans may get to see him don Sonics' green and gold at the Key in the near future instead of the familiar Husky purple and gold at Hec Ed.

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