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And So It Begins: Dime’s NBA Draft Diary With Isaiah Thomas, Part 4

After leading Washington to back-to-back conference titles in the Pac-10 Tournament over the last two seasons, junior Isaiah Thomas (who also claimed back-to-back conference MOP honors in those same title runs) decided the time was right to test his talents on another level: the NBA. During his time in Seattle, the 5-9 guard was nothing short of an offensive force. After averaging 16.9 points and 3.9 assists a game as a sophomore, he returned this season to drop 16.8 and 6.1 per and navigate UW to a Sweet Sixteen appearance in the NCAA Tournament. And as the kid embarks on his journey away from college and into the pros, we wanted to give him his own space, and voice, to roam. So, follow along with Isaiah on his Dime NBA Draft Diary and the start to his journey as a member of the Sacramento Kings…

UPDATE: Beyond being drafted with the 60th, and final, selection in this past June’s Draft by Sacramento, Isaiah has also signed on to become part of the Reebok family. Additionally, his ongoing documentary, directed by T.J. Regan, has produced its second trailer for the film. Enjoy.

It’s been awhile, y’all and a lot has happened since my last diary entry.

As you probably know by now, I was recently drafted by the Sacramento Kings. This is a blessing beyond measure, as it has been a lifelong dream of mine to play on the NBA level. I definitely feel like I am still being slept on, but that is nothing new – I’ve always dealt with being doubted. I am very thankful to the Sacramento Kings for giving me a chance to prove that I belong. A chance is all I have ever asked for and I cannot wait until this lockout is over so I can get up to Sacramento and get my career started with my teammates in my new hometown.

June 23rd, a.k.a. Draft Day, was probably one of the longest and most stressful, yet joyous, days of my life! We had a draft-watch dinner/party at my apartment with my family and very close friends, but I was far too nervous to watch the draft with them. So, I left the house with my big bro ‘Zo (Alonzo Weatherby) and went up to the University of Washington to get some shots up. A few of my former Husky teammates were there (Darnell Gant, Scott Suggs, Desmond Simmons, Abdul Gaddy and Terrence Ross), which lightened the mood even more.

As time went on, and more and more names were being called ahead of mine, I started wondering what was going on. It appeared that teams were still scared off by my height. I never lost faith, but after all the work I put in throughout the Draft process, I did begin to ask, “How are some of these guys being picked ahead of me?” and “What do they see in them that they don’t see in me?”

As the second round wore on, I decided to head back to my apartment to watch the last part of the draft with my family and friends. As soon as I was about to get in the elevator to head down to join everyone, my agent called and told me that the Sacramento Kings were going to take me at No. 60. That’s when I was finally able to breathe!

We got into the elevator, went down to where my family and friends were gathered – all of whom still had no clue where, when, or even if I was going to be picked ­â€“ and as soon as we got to the entryway, ‘Zo screamed, “He’s going to SACRAMENTO!!!” From then on, the celebration was in full force.

Immediately after my name was called, I received a call from Coach Paul Westphal welcoming me to the organization and then another call, moments later, from the Maloof Brothers doing the same. They all told me how excited they were to have me, surprised that I fell so far and that they couldn’t wait to get me up to Sacramento. I flew down the next day with my mother and father to be officially welcomed to the team.

The organization had everything laid out to introduce the rookies – Jimmer Fredette, Tyler Honeycutt and myself – to the city and its fans in a big way! There was a fan rally at the airport when we arrived, press conference later in the day and an even bigger rally at the mall. It was an unbelievable experience and definitely a weekend that I will never forget. Now, I can’t wait to get back out there and start playing in front of those same fans.

I strongly feel like I am living proof that if you work hard, are dedicated, and have faith, you can achieve your dreams.

Until next time…

-‘Zeke

Follow Isaiah on Twitter at @Isaiah_Thomas2.

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