There's a lot of hoopla surrounding the NBA Draft. Chad Ford and other draftniks spend weeks fine-tuning their mock drafts and talking to scouts so that they can provide up to the minute info about who's going where and the days following are full of grades and commentary from the same sources. People even spend a lot of time breaking down the fashions sported by draftees. It's a big event so it's not surprising that other stories get short shrift.
One of those stories, interestingly enough, is another basketball draft albeit one with a bit less suspense than the NBA selection process. The Harlem Globetrotters held their first-ever draft this week. It wasn't covered by ESPN, TNT or even BET so we don't know how the mothers of the lucky players reacted when their names were called nor do we know who was doing the name-calling. Well, we know it wasn't David Stern but otherwise it's a blank. Not taking part in the draft were the Washington Generals, still being run by the befuddled Chris Wallace, traded all of their picks for a bucket full of confetti and the DVD rights to The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island.
- Anthony Atkinson of Division II Barton College who you might remember from his stunning performance in this years D-II championship game when he scored 10 points in 40 seconds to lead his team to the title.
- Mario West of Georgia Tech and Brent Petway of Michigan finished 1-2 in the College Slam Dunk Contest and will get a chance to flash their skills in the red, white and blue of the Globetrotters. Petway also made waves when by shaving his head to resemble Michigan's football helmets and by dunking on Greg Oden during a game against the Buckeyes. The Detroit News reports he's passing on the chance to try his hand at something he never experienced in Ann Arbor. That would be playing in games his team has a chance to win. Instead he'll be a member of the Hawks summer league team.
- Marcus Kennedy, a D-II All-American from Montevallo, is best known for sinking a half-court shot to win the South Regional in the same tournament that Atkinson and Barton College won. He was a bit of a surprise pick, DraftExpress thought he wouldn't go until the seventh round of the White Shadow draft.
- Sun Ming Ming, a 7'9" Chinese center pictured below. Sun played for the Maryland Nighthawks of the ABA this season and has his own website cunningly called sevenfootnine.com.
As you can see Sun Ming Ming isn't black, a bit of a departure for the Globetrotters. He is freakishly tall, however. Like his countryman Yi Jianlian, he's said to be unhappy with where he ended up in the draft. He was hoping to get snapped up by the Flushing Earthroamers and his agents are feverishly trying to negotiate a trade.