Dionte Christmas waited, but his name wasn’t one of the 60 that were called at tonight’s NBA draft in New York City.
The senior guard, who averaged 19.5 points per game on his way to a record third consecutive Atlantic Ten Conference scoring title, spent the night at his home in Philadelphia with 30 of his closest friends and family members.
“I wasn’t expecting my name to be called,” Christmas said. “I thought if I heard it in the first round or even later that it would be a blessing. I think it’s worse for my family, though. They wanted to hear my name now.”
Christmas said his agent, Andre Buck, already knows of a few teams – the Los Angeles Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies – that are interested in him.
“Hopefully by tomorrow, I’ll be signed and picked up by a team,” he said. “I don’t have any preferences, I just want to be on a team and in the NBA.”
Former Temple Owls Lynn Greer and Mardy Collins and current Temple men’s basketball coach Fran Dunphy texted Christmas after the draft and told him to “keep his head up.”
“My dad was real upset,” Christmas said. “But I told him I’ve been the underdog my whole career. It’s going to motivate me in the proper way. I can’t go nowhere but up.”