Devonté Graham’s journey from Raleigh to stardom
Broughton High School head coach Jeff Ferrell remembers when former Capitals’ player Shavlik Randolph entered the NBA Draft in 2005. At the time Ferrell, who coached Randolph during his prep career, thought it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to have a former player headed to the NBA.
Thursday night Ferrell will get that feeling twice over. Former Broughton players Devonté Graham and Jerome Robinson could both hear their names called by the time the night ends in Brooklyn. Graham, who played four years at Kansas is projected anywhere from late in the first round to mid second round, according to mock drafts. Robinson, who entered the draft after a breakout junior season at Boston College, is projected as a first round pick and could go anywhere from No. 17 to Milwaukee to No. 26 to Philadelphia.
Robinson and Graham played one varsity season together under Ferrell. At the time he couldn’t imagine having two future NBA players on one roster.
“I knew they were going to be good college players,” Ferrell said, “but getting to the NBA is really hard. It’s pretty phenomenal.”
Here’s a breakdown of local guys who could get drafted Thursday night.
Jerome Robinson (6-4, 190) Boston College
Robinson was one of the best guards in the ACC last season, averaging 20.8 points per game, including a 46-point outburst against Notre Dame. He was a relatively unknown prospect when the season started, but played his way into the NBA conversation.
Robinson played off the ball at Boston College, but showed a knack for scoring at all three levels consistently against strong competition. He shot 40.9 percent from three-point range last season, but could also attack the basket.
NBAdraftnet.com: No. 16 to Phoenix
SI.com: No. 17 to Milwaukee
ESPN: No. 26 to Philadelphia
sbnation: No. 26 to Philadelphia
sportingnews: No. 26 to Philadelphia
What his high school coach is saying: “He has all the tools. He can handle the ball like a guard, he can drive, he can shoot. Physically, just by appearance he’s what I would think a lot of NBA teams would like. He has such a knack for winning and I think he showed that bringing Boston College back on the map a little bit in the ACC. He’s really worked his butt off the last two summers to really get to where he is.”
Devonté Graham (6-1, 185) Kansas
One of the rare four-year players in this draft, Graham (23) is one of the oldest and most polished players coming out. The 2017-18 Big 12 Player of the Year led Kansas to this Final Four his senior season, establishing himself as a playmaker after playing beside Frank Mason for three seasons.
Graham was a career 40.9 percent three-point shooter and thrived in pick-and-roll situations during his career at Kansas.
SI.com: No. 48 to Minnesota
cbssports.com: No. 28 to Golden State
What his high school coach is saying: “What Devonte can really bring to the table at the next level is his uncanny ability to lead a team. He’s knows everything about what’s going on and what his teammates are supposed to be doing. He knows where the ball needs to be, and he’s just a great leader in that aspect. He loves to win and he will do anything he can to help his team win.”
Rawle Alkins (6-4, 220) Arizona
Alkins finished his prep career at Word of God Christian Academy and spent two seasons at Arizona. He is a strong wing player who was considered a first-round pick after his freshman season before returning to Arizona.
Alkins suffered a broken foot in September and was less than 100 percent the rest of the season. He averaged 13.1 points per game and 4.8 rebounds. His 6’9” wingspan should make him a solid defender.
NBADraftnet.com: No. 55 to Charlotte
Basketball Insiders: No. 55 to Charlotte
ESPN: No. 55 to Charlotte
What his high school coach is saying: (Brian Clifton, Word of God): “A very gifted athlete. When he came to us, the knock was he couldn’t shoot the ball. In pretty short time he became a guy who made shots for us. Very strong, very physical, from an NBA standpoint, physically, he’ll be able to fit in from day one.