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May 18, 2008
? MORE: Getting to know Lester Hudson
UT-Martin junior guard Lester Hudson is one of 71 underclassmen who have entered the NBA Draft. Hudson, who has not signed with an agent, talks about what he's been doing to prepare for team workouts, the invitation he hopes to receive to the NBA's pre-draft camp in Orlando on May 27-June 3, his feelings on the new rule allowing NBA teams to pay for the travel expenses for players' workouts and other topics below.
Where are you and how have you changed your training routine since choosing to enter the draft?
"I've been down here at IMG in Bradenton, Fla., for the last two weeks training for the pre-draft camp. After talking with a couple of people, I felt that David Thorpe (executive director of the Pro Training Center at IMG) was the best guy to work with.
"I've learned a lot already and made a lot of improvements to my game. I've learned every aspect of the game, from how to shoot the ball better to becoming a better ballhandler to polishing my moves and improving my defense."
Who are some of the players you are working out with and going up against?
"We have some great competition. Pat Calathes (St. Joseph's), Brian Roberts (Dayton), Courtney Lee (Western Kentucky), Stanley Burrell (Xavier) and Reggie Williams (VMI) are here. I think D.J. Augustin (Texas) is supposed to arrive. All the guys are good and all have a shot at being NBA players. Everybody has been nice, on and off the court. It's been interesting to meet all the new players and get to know them as people."
When will you find out about whether you will get invited to the NBA Pre-Draft Camp and what do you think the chances are that you will be invited?
"We don't find out until May 21, but my coach (Bret Campbell) has been talking with the NBA Underclassman Advisory Board and they think the chances are nine out of 10 that I will be invited."
What kind of advice has Coach Campbell given you? Does he want you not to sign with an agent so you can stay eligible for your senior year?
"Coach Campbell is actually down here with me right now. He wanted to see how beneficial the training at IMG would be for me. He's trying to help me stay focused and he's also keeping me informed of the positives and negatives out there. He's been really good through the whole process."
Assuming you to go to the camp, what do you think NBA teams will be looking for from you and what do you feel you need to prove?
"It's a good opportunity for me to prove I can play point guard. I also can show all the general managers that I can play with lots of talent because there will be a lot of good players there. I need to play my game, which is getting teammates open and scoring. I think it will be good for me."
What is your reaction to the new rule that allows NBA teams to pay for travel expenses when inviting players to workouts?
"I think it's a good thing because it stops forcing players to do things they didn't want to do to get money. A lot of guys don't have the money needed to travel. It will be good for future players down the road, too."
Andrew Skwara is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.