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Meeks still happy with draft choice

When Jodie Meeks made the decision to leave his name in the NBA Draft last month, being a second-round selection wasn't exactly what he had in mind.

Still, a week after lasting until the second round before being taken by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 41st overall pick, the former Norcross and University of Kentucky guard was hardly disappointed.

After all, while he didn't become the first Gwinnett County player to be taken in the first round, his selection at No. 41 does hold historical significance.

He is now the highest selection ever for a Gwinnett player, four spots higher than former South Gwinnett star Lou Williams, who was taken with the 45th pick in 2005 by the Philadelphia 76ers.

"As a kid, you dream about hearing your name called (on draft night)," said Meeks, who has been in Milwaukee since last Sunday meeting with Bucks officials and getting to know his new NBA home. "It's a great honor. It was exciting and it was a relief at the same time."

It might also be considered somewhat of a surprise to some, since Milwaukee was not one of the teams that Meeks had predraft workouts for.

However, he wasn't totally surprised, since Bucks officials had shown some interest and had contacted him before the draft.

They must have liked what they saw from Meeks' breakout season at Kentucky, during which he led the Wildcats in scoring at 23.7 points per game - including a school-record 54 points in a 90-72 upset of then-No. 24 Tennessee on Jan. 13 - steals (48) and free-throw shooting (90.2 percent).

"I knew (the Bucks) were interested," Meeks said. "I'd scheduled so many workouts (that) I didn't have a chance to get over there. But they're a good fit for me. I believe I can help the team in a lot of areas, give the team a little energy and give them another shooting guard on the wing."

The draft and his subsequent week in Milwaukee are just the beginning of what figures to be a hectic summer for the 6-foot-4 former Blue Devil star.

He will join several other rookies, second-year players and free agents on the Bucks squad competing against those from 20 other NBA teams - plus a group of NDBL select players - at the NBA's Summer League in Las Vegas later this week.

There is also the matter of getting a contract worked out with the Bucks before training camp in September, though he says that he'll be less focused on that than improving his game.

"I'd like to get (the contract) done as soon as possible," Meeks said. "But I'll leave that up to my agent and the (Bucks') organization. I leave for Vegas on (July) ninth, and ... I'm just ready to get started."