SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Maybe it was tough love from his college coach during a disappointing freshman year. Maybe it was playing overseas for his native Brazil. Maybe it was just wanting to please his mom.
Or maybe it was all that and more that transformed Fabricio Paulino de Melo into just plain Fab — the 7-foot center who made Syracuse an imposing team last season and now dons the famed uniform of the Boston Celtics hoping to leave his mark on the NBA. He was the 22nd pick in the NBA draft on Thursday night, a week after his 22nd birthday.
"Any time a guy only started playing basketball seriously about three or four years ago, there is some learning curve," Celtics assistant general manager Ryan McDonough said. "But we're encouraged by his ability to learn."