This is Amelia Rayno's third season on the Gophers men's basketball beat. She learned college basketball in North Carolina (Go Tar Heels!), where fanhood is not an option. In 2010, she joined the Star Tribune after graduating from Boston's Emerson College, which sadly had no exciting D-I college hoops to latch onto. Amelia has also worked on the sports desk at the Boston Globe and interned at the Detroit News.

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Williams on the draft, the summer league and beyond

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under Gophers players Updated: July 4, 2013 - 11:33 AM

The Philadelphia 76ers are clearly interested in former Gopher Rodney Williams, but he hasn’t signed a deal with them yet and doesn’t expect to until after the summer leagues. In the midst of the flux, I caught up with the Minneapolis native at High Performance Academy on Tuesday, where he was playing in the Pro City League to chat about the draft and his future.

Congrats on the invite to summer league. When did Philly contact you?

When I went down there for my workout, I had a pretty good workout, shot the ball pretty well and they told me that they were interested.

I ended up not getting drafted, but my agent called me during the last pick and told me that I was going to be out there in the summer league so they were interested – I guess, I don’t know, maybe it was something with how the beginning of the draft – nobody expected all that to happen. Maybe that was it, I’m not too sure, but hey, I’ve got the opportunity, I’m going to make the most of it.

At least your agent called you right at the end of the draft, so you didn’t have to be disappointed for too long.

Yeah, it wasn’t too long, but that was a long day. That was a really long day.

What were your thoughts heading into the draft. Did you feel pretty good about your chances?

I felt pretty confident that I would get picked at least late second round. I didn’t really know who. Philly was really interested and Detroit was interested too and they had some late picks. But I was just hoping to make it to a team, I didn’t really care about when it happened. It happened so now I’ve got to go make the most of it.

How did you handle your emotions as the draft was ending and your name wasn’t called? I can’t imagine the build-up to something like that.

I was frustrated. I tried not to let anybody that was at my house see it. That’s definitely a frustrating situation, when you’ve worked that hard and you go through that whole process and your name doesn’t get called. But a lot of really good players’ names didn’t get called so I’ve got the feeling there’s going to be a lot of free agents signing.

Who did you watch with?

My family. A lot of family and friends came over. We just chilled. My mom and dad cooked a little bit and we just had our close friends family over. Everybody was disappointed, but once I got that call I had a lot of people in my corner excited for me.

Did you hear from anybody else other than Philly after the draft?

No, nobody else.

Did you discuss any contract terms [it has been reported that Williams has signed].

We didn’t really talk about that. After the summer is over, that’s when we’ll talk about everything. A lot of people don’t get this opportunity, so I’ve got to make the most of it.

OK, so you haven’t signed yet.

I haven’t signed anything yet.

So if you don’t get that contract after Orlando, would you try to play for another team in Vegas if a team contacts you and wants you to?

I’m not sure yet, right now all I know about is Orlando. We’ll see after Orlando’s over.

There’s a lot that’s up in the air right now. How are you handling that anxiety of not knowing what’s going on in your life?

It’s tough not knowing exactly what’s going on, but it’s all on me, so I’ve just got to go out there and make the most of it.
 

 

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