WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — The Washington Wizards hold the third overall pick in Wednesday’s NBA Draft and could very well select University of Florida guard Bradley Beal.
The 18-year-old Beal (born in 1993), opted to leave college after his freshman season in order to turn pro.
The former Gator joined LaVar Arrington and Danny Rouhier, who was filling in for the vacationing Chad Dukes, on 106.7 The Fan Monday afternoon.
Beal seems like a natural fit for a town who rebuilding its struggling sports franchises with a bevy of youth and new franchise faces. Whomever the Wizards draft will immediately join the ranks of Robert Griffin III, John Wall, Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper.
“I know D.C. is really restructuring all of their sports programs and to be a Washington Wizard would mean the world to me,” Beal said. “At the same time I know I can come in and make an impact as best I can and just try to get the team back on a winning streak.”
Coming out of high school Beal drew comparisons to future NBA Hall of Famer Ray Allen — a likeness the youngster did not take lightly.
“Most definitely that’s a big expectation just because he’s the best 3-point shooter to ever play the game,” he said. “So, to actually be considered in the same category as him is a blessing and an honor.”
With humility, Beal added he thinks he can live up to those expectations and touted other aspects of his game — particularly his rebounding and defensive skills.
Although compared to others, Beal said he didn’t try to pattern his game off anyone else.
As for the struggle during the first half of last season with Florida?
“It was probably the hardest thing I ever had to go through,” he said. “Shooting slumps like I’ve never been through before . . . To go through that during the season, it really hit me in the head. I was kind of frustrated with myself, but I was able to keep my confidence.”
Beal said he credits his teammates and coaching staff for helping pick him up during the struggles. Their support combined with extra work in the gym enabled him to come with a vengeance in the second half of the season.