Commentary

Beverley excited to play with Wade

Originally Published: June 26, 2009
By Scott Powers | For ESPNChicago.com

[+] EnlargePatrick Beverley
AP Photo/Todd J. Van EmstPatrick Beverley was the only Chicago-area product drafted Thursday.
Thursday night's NBA draft marked the first time since 1993 a Chicago product wasn't taken in the first round.

In fact, it started to look like Chicago might be shut out entirely. Patrick Beverley, a former Marshall High School star, had to be patient. But in the second round, with the 42nd overall pick, his wait ended when the Los Angeles Lakers selected him. Later, the 6-foot-1 combo guard was traded to the Miami Heat.

"Oh, man," said Beverley on Friday morning. "I can't describe it. It was a dream come true. You talk about as a child you want to be an NBA player, and to be in the position to have your name called is unbelievable."

The wait, and the slight detour in teams from the West Coast to the East, was nothing compared to what Beverley had been through in the past year. His NBA journey began with him leaving the University of Arkansas last summer due to academic fraud, then he moved to the Ukraine where he spent a year playing professionally, then back to Chicago to train for the draft.

"Definitely, it's been a blessing in disguise," Beverley said of his basketball odyssey. "I'm just ecstatic right now to playing for the Miami Heat. I was hoping to get drafted by the Heat. My agent was hoping I would get drafted by the Heat. The Heat, I know, were hoping I was there. It's definitely a great, great fit."

In Miami, he'll have the chance to play alongside and learn from one of the best ever to come from the Chicago area -- Dwyane Wade.

"Who wouldn't want to be playing with one of the NBA greats?" Beverley said. "It's definitely going to be a great experience."

Attack Athletics' Tim Grover has trained Beverley and Wade, and he believes it'll be a perfect match.

"The Heat got a nice steal at No. 42 with this little move with the Lakers," Grover said. "I definitely think he's an NBA player. He's going to make Dwyane's life a little easier when they're on the floor together, especially on the defensive end. He's going to make it a whole lot easier."

Jerel McNeal (Hillcrest, Marquette), Bryan Mullins (Downers Grove South, Southern Illinois) and Jeremy Pargo (Robeson, Gonzaga) also were considered draft prospects, but they weren't taken.

"I definitely wish there were more Chicago guys," Beverley said. "Those guys are great players. They'll definitely find a spot on someone's summer teams. Those are some great players."

Mullins impressed the Bulls and Celtics enough in his workouts to be invited onto each of their summer-league teams, according to Mullins' father, Mike.

As far as Chicago being represented in future first rounds, Ohio State's Evan Turner, a St. Joseph High School grad, likely will restart the trend next year as he's predicted to be a lottery pick in 2010.

Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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