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Norcross graduates await NBA future

Photo by Don Petersen

Photo by Don Petersen

All the combines, individual workouts and interviews are over. All Al-Farouq Aminu and Gani Lawal can do now is wait.

Just how long the wait will be remains to be seen, but both Norcross High School grads figure to hear their names called when the NBA Draft commences this evening at 7 p.m. in New York.

Of the two, Aminu's wait figures to be the shorter one.

The 6-foot-9, 215-pound forward, who made himself eligible for the draft after a sophomore season at Wake Forest in which he earned second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors, is seen by pretty much every draft analyst as a certain lottery pick.

Most mock drafts have projected him being selected somewhere between picks No. 5 and 8, with the most common projection being the No. 8 selection to the Los Angeles Clippers.

And he is one of a handful of players who will await his selection at the Green Room at the draft site at Madison Square Garden.

But on the eve of the draft, Aminu is trying not to be overwhelmed thinking about his destination.

"You can kind of get wrapped up into it," Aminu said while taking a break from his pre-draft workouts and acting as one of the instructor at the Brotherhood of the World Youth Basketball Camp run by his brother, former Georgia Tech post Alade Aminu, earlier this month at Norcross. "All you think about is getting ready for the league (NBA). Getting ready for the league. You can become distant from stuff that really matters.

"My agent has been telling me that he doesn't see me falling out of the top 10, but you never really know."

While Aminu figures to have an early night, Lawal's fate is a little more complex.

The 6-9, 234-pound power forward has been projected to be taken either late in the first round or early in the second, with the most common projections having him selected somewhere between picks No. 22 and 29.

"I'm excited to see where I go," said Lawal, a two-time, third-team All-ACC selection at Georgia Tech. "It's a fun process. I went through it last year and came back (to Tech). ... I guess we'll find out (tonight)."