Bennett Talks NBA Draft

By: Lindsay Joy Email
By: Lindsay Joy Email

On Thursday, Virginia's Joe Harris and Akil Mitchell will wait to hear their names called in the 2014 NBA Draft. Their former coach will know how they're feeling.

In 1992, Tony Bennett heard his named called during the second round of the draft, and the day wasn't without some anxiety.

"I had some friends at the house, and I remember when the Bulls had their pick, they were one of the last picks in the first round," Bennett recalls. "I thought maybe they'd pick me. Right before the Bulls were on the clock, someone called the house and I picked up. I was like 'hello, hello?' I don't know if someone was playing a prank on me, or it was just a wrong number but it was just dead silence on the other end. Then I hung up, and the Bulls didn't take me. But then the Charlotte Hornets did and I met my wife, so all is good from there."

Bennett was the 35th overall pick by the Hornets in the '92 draft. Now, Harris and Mitchell will hope for a similar fate. Harris has shot up draft boards in the weeks leading up to the draft, with some analysts predicting he could be selected early in the first round. Whenever his former players are taken, Bennett says there are many different ways to make it in the NBA.

"The draft part is such a small part if it," he says. "There's so many different ways and paths to get to your ultimate dream, if it's the NBA. There will be summer league for both of them, there will be veterans camps. There will be many opportunities. I think if they're faithful and patient, they're going to find their way in the NBA."

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