The life of a potential NBA draft prospect isn’t glamorous. Each day can bring a different hotel, different city and a brand new set of workout partners.
But Georgetown guard Jason Clark got a double dose of familiar when he looked at the roster for his session with the Wizards on Tuesday. Down the hall from his Hoyas locker room inside Verizon Center, his sparring opposite was none other than Syracuse’s Scoop Jardine.
“We played against each other for four years,” Jardine said. “Today was just like I was on the road playing against Georgetown on their own court, hitting big shots and talking to their fans.”
Said Clark, “He always brags about how they beat us more, but it’s all good.”
The Hoyas went 3-4 against the Orange during his four years, with two losses in overtime.
Both players hope to catch an NBA team’s eye and snare a place in the second round of the June 28 draft, or at least an invite to Las Vegas Summer League. Neither were chosen for last weekend’s NBA draft combine in Chicago.
“I’m not going to say it’s all politics,” said Clark, who missed out while teammates Henry Sims and Hollis Thompson both got tested and measured. “But there’s a lot of things that go into getting invited to the combine. I’m not worried about that I didn’t get into the combine. I’m just going to work my tail off to try to get drafted.”
For Clark, it will come down to defense and hustle, the same hallmarks that helped him first earn his keep with the Hoyas.
“It’s kind of weird coming in this arena and not having on a Georgetown jersey,” Clark said. “It’s weird, but I’m willing to work hard to try to play here again.”
Jardine and Clark’s other workout partners included Darius Miller, a former teammate of John Wall’s at Kentucky and a friend of fellow Kentucky native Shelvin Mack – along with Duke forward Miles Plumlee, Florida State forward Bernard James and Iowa guard Matt Gatens.
Miller, James and Plumlee are all projected as potential second round picks. Miller is coming off a national championship with the Wildcats as a four-year senior who was a part of the program’s rebirth under coach John Calipari.
“Me being from Kentucky, it meant a lot to me, the program being one of the elite programs again,” Miller said. “Especially with the guys I’ve gotten a chance to play with, a lot of talented guys, a lot of pros. It’s been a lot of fun. I’ve built a lot of relationships and learned a lot from it.”
James is 27 years old after two years with the Seminoles – he checked in before his workout with Chris Singleton, who is down in Tallahassee working out and in school – community college before that and six years in the Air Force.
Plumlee is a big but raw, a decent rebounder who enjoyed a brief moment with Wizards assistant coach and fellow Blue Devils alum Gene Banks.