The NBA uses college basketball as a spring-board to professional basketball and this next week several young men will hear their names called and they will begin the next step in their journey of becoming a pro.
The combine was earlier this month and a few players have used that opportunity to move up draft boards. Here is a closer look at those players and a couple of sleepers that could make a splash in the league with their play next season.
Meyers Leonard is literally one of the biggest surprises entering the league this season as the former Illinois center averaged 13 points and 8 rebounds for a team that under-performed last season. Leonard measured in at just over 7 feet at the combine and showed more athleticism than most scouts thought he had in his big frame.
Miles Plumlee played four years at Duke and made little progress as a player. Last year he averaged just over six points and seven rebounds, but at the combine he showed at 40 inch vertical with his 6'11" frame and that had scouts buzzing.
Orlando Johnson from UCSB had a terrific career in a small conference and averaged nearly 20 points per game this past season, but the lack of competition hurt his draft status. The NBA combine showed scouts and GM's that his skills will measure up against anyone and his wingspan of nearly 7' has many experts believing he will become an excellent defender in the league.
These are just three of many young men that will get their shot this summer to make it to the next level, but their showing at the combine will get their foot in the door and the rest will be up to them.