Former Gators center Patric Young never heard his name called on Thursday night as everyone expected.
Instead, Florida’s most draft-worthy prospect went undrafted in this year’s NBA Draft. The results come as a shock to many considering the league’s 2014 Defensive Player of the Year was projected to go late in the first round or early in the second after performing well at the NBA Draft Combine where he bench pressed 185 pounds 25 consecutive times (two short of the record) and impressed scouts. 6-foot-10, 250 pound Young also impressed a number of NBA officials during his 13 workouts throughout the past few weeks. ESPN’s Chad Ford even projected the San Antonio Spurs would select Young with the final pick in the first round, leading up to the draft. But teams bypassed Young for foreign talent instead late in the second round.
Young spent Thursday night at an NBA Draft party back home in Jacksonville, Florida. According to Gainesville reporter for GTN News, Phil Byrne, who attended – Florida’s star left the party midway through the second round.
Things are starting to get stressful here at the Patric Young draft party. Hard to watch each pick pass and Pat isnt on the phone. — Phil Byrne (@Phil_Byrne) June 27, 2014
Pat left his draft party midway through 2nd rd. Was probably getting on the phone talking to teams in case this scenario played out. (1/2) — Phil Byrne (@Phil_Byrne) June 27, 2014
University of Florida teammates Scottie Wilbekin and Casey Prather also went undrafted Thursday night- leaving a senior-laden Final Four team without one player selected. This was the first time that a Gator has gone undrafted since 2010.
Young, Wilbekin and Prather, who helped the Gators win 120 games, 3 SEC championships, and went 36-13 during the 2013-2014 season must now wait for free agent opportunities and hope to latch on an NBA roster as a free agent. The trio as well as Will Yeguete started their journey at UF as friends but ended as brothers, and there’s no doubt in my mind they won’t fight through adversity and earn a spot on a roster with the support from each other.