Celtics draft prospects on the move

Celtics draft prospects on the move
May 28, 2013, 10:30 am
Share This Post

NBA Draft entrants find themselves in transition this time of year -- no longer college players but not yet professional athletes.

They have left their lives on campus to travel across the country, bouncing from city to city for draft combines, team workouts, and training. Some return to their childhood homes after each trip, others have established residence elsewhere prior to the draft.

Three NBA hopefuls who recently worked out for the Boston Celtics discussed how their lives are in flux until the evening of June 27.

Shane Larkin: Home Base and Beyond

Shane Larkin returned to his family's home in Orlando, Florida following his sophomore season at the University of Miami. Since then, he has been traveling throughout the state, training back in Miami and at IMG Academy in Bradenton. He is also considering going cross-country to work out in Los Angeles.

"I've been living everywhere just trying to get better," he said.

Larkin is familiar with this on-the-go lifestyle. He saw it firsthand from his father, Barry, a former Major League Baseball player.

"For me, it's not as difficult as some of the other kids just because I watched my dad do it," Larkin said. "I watched him travel from city to city, staying three days for a three-game series, going to LA, then going to Detroit or St. Louis. I've seen him do it, I know what it takes, the sacrifices you have to make. You're not always going to be comfortable, you're going to be traveling from cold to warm, not with your family. I've seen it, I've been in it my whole life, so it's not that hard. It's something you've always wanted to do so it's not that difficult."

Myck Kabongo: Open Door Policy from NBA Friend

When it came time for Toronto native Myck Kabongo to prepare for the NBA Draft, choosing where he would live was an easy decision. The former University of Texas guard moved in with Cavaliers forward and childhood friend Tristan Thompson in Cleveland.

"I've got a little bag packed and I've been staying with Tristan, invading his space while he's up there," said Kabongo. "We're brothers so we're just staying together. I have my own room and everything, it's good. I live in a tough neighborhood back home so he's always said I could come stay with him."

While Kabongo has settled into Thompson's home, he staying ready to get up and go at any given time. Just let him know when and where his next workout is, and he's there.

"It could be a day's notice, it could be any time," Kabongo said. "My agent handles all that and lets me know. At any time with all this you could be on the fly any day. You've just got to be prepared and ready. I stay hydrated and mentally ready. I love playing, so it doesn't matter where I am. If (the Celtics) wanted me to play today again at six, I'd come back at six and be ready to play."

Gregory Echenique: Accustomed to Moving for Basketball

Gregory Echenique moved from Venezuela to the United States in 2005 to pursue basketball, a sport his father Jose played on the Venezuelan National Team. Following his senior season at Creighton University, Echenique relocated to Las Vegas, Nevada to train for the draft at Impact Basketball Academy. He moved into an apartment-style hotel, which he is calling home for now.

"I liked the Impact gym," he said. "I think they get a lot of good players around this time so I thought it would be a good fit for me. I'm (living) in a hotel, it's like an Extended Stay. I'm there all the time, [I don't check out], so I'll go, come back, it's pretty much like my home."

Echenique didn't plan on being away from Las Vegas that often before the draft, but when more phone calls began coming in he was happy to jump on a plane. Traveling for basketball is something he has been doing for years.

"For the longest time I thought this (workout with the Celtics) was the only workout I had," he said. "Then all of a sudden I got a call, I got one more, then I got another call. So it's exciting but it's kind of nerve-wracking because you don't know what's next, but you've got to deal with it. The only thing you can control is how well you prepare and how well you do. It's kind of like a weird feeling. You just have to role with the punches."