Siena guard/forward Manny Camper isn’t getting drafted. At least that’s what the NBA undergraduate advisory committee projected in the evaluation they gave him last week.
“Of course, me being a late bloomer, I was predicted to go undrafted,’’ Camper said. “So that was that.”
But that’s not quite it as far Camper’s involvement in the NBA draft process. He declared on April 3 and doesn’t have to withdraw until June 3 to return for his senior season with the Saints.
He’s one of 205 early-entry candidates for the draft, and the only one from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Stadium’s Jeff Goodman listed Camper as one of the players who “should absolutely return” to college because he’s unlikely to be drafted.
Camper is still home in Maryland waiting to see whether the NBA will hold individual team workouts or a combine for draft prospects because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The NBA announced on Monday teams will be able to reopen their facilities no sooner than next Friday, and only in states that have relaxed their social-distancing guidelines.
“I’m going to continue looking out for that,” Camper said. “That’s why I’m going to continue to keep my name in (the draft). I’m not going to pull it out too soon because things could change next week where maybe I’m able to go out and work out for coaches and things like that.”
The NBA draft is scheduled for June 25 but could be pushed back because of the pandemic.
Even with the uncertainty, Camper said he still appreciated the feedback from the advisory committee, which told him he needed to work on his ballhandling and 3-point shot. On the positive side, they loved his motor and his ability to defend multiple positions, according to Camper.
“I believe being able to enter, just hearing from the NBA committee is great itself, a huge benefit,” Camper said. “I’m still working out, training to become ready for any opportunity that presents itself.”
Camper, who averaged 13.7 points and 10.4 rebounds per game this season, has been shooting outside and doing conditioning and beach workouts under his trainer, Dominic Harris.
Though Camper hasn’t hired an agent to retain his eligibility, he said he has people whom he declined to name assisting him during the process. Not surprisingly, there have been questions about the competition he’s faced in college.
“They reached out to teams and some teams got back,’’ Camper. “With me being one of only nine players to average a double-double, that was impressive, but their biggest thing was the level of play. We’re the MAAC, so that was the biggest thing, and I think that’s where the (NCAA) tournament would have helped, being able to perform and do the same thing on the big stage and things like that.”
Siena didn’t get to play a high-ranked team in the NCAA Tournament because it was canceled.
He’s still hoping to set up phone interviews with NBA coaches.
Camper said he’s finishing up classes online and doing some volunteer work while he’s home during the pandemic.
NCAA board against transfer waiver change
The NCAA Board of Directors said Wednesday it doesn’t recommend making changes to the transfer waiver process. A working group has suggested giving men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, football and men’s hockey athletes a one-time waiver that would allow them to transfer without sitting out a year at their new school.
The board said the one-time waiver is “not appropriate at this time,” reflecting concerns about adding another layer of uncertainty to the challenges college athletics are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NCAA Division I Council is still expected to vote on the one-time waiver on May 20. If it passes, it’s not clear whether it would go into effect immediately or for the 2021-22 season.
The proposed waiver has raised concerns the one-time waiver could be damaging to mid-major programs like Siena and UAlbany, which would face a greater risk of losing their best players to higher-level programs.
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