0

Meeks finds out NBA fate tonight

For nearly three months, Jodie Meeks had one main issue to ponder - would he keep his name in the NBA draft or return to Kentucky for one more college basketball season?

He finally answered that last week when he opted to remain draft eligible, but the stress isn't quite over. That won't happen until the Norcross grad is picked in tonight's NBA draft, finally giving him a destination for next season.

Meeks has been told he will be selected late in the first round or early in the second, although that obviously isn't a lock. He could go earlier. He could go higher.

Wherever he goes, the 6-foot-4 guard said he will be happy to fulfill a dream.

"(Getting picked) will be really nice," Meeks said. "It's definitely been a lifelong goal to play in the NBA since I was a kid. Hopefully I'll be picked as high as possible."

Meeks has done his part to make sure that happens, traveling the country for private workouts and pre-draft camps. The teams that have brought in Meeks for training sessions include the Oklahoma City Thunder, Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards, Atlanta Hawks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Philadelphia 76ers and Chicago Bulls.

Rather than view the pre-draft routine as a chore, Meeks tried to have fun and enjoy the process, which he called "once in a lifetime."

"The teams put you through a vigorous workout, you do ballhandling, shooting and other stuff," Meeks said. "They do competition stuff. They want to see how you compete. ... It's not that bad. It's nothing that any basketball player hasn't done before."

If Meeks does sneak into the first round, he will do what no other Gwinnett player has done before - be a first-round NBA draft pick. The highest Gwinnett player ever selected was former South Gwinnett star Lou Williams, a second-round pick (No. 45 overall) in 2005. Williams entered the draft straight out of high school.