Reigning NCAA champion David McCormack of Kansas worked out for the Los Angeles Lakers on June 1 in the franchise’s third round of pre-draft showings.
After an inconsistent 2021-22, McCormack finished the season on a high note — putting up with 15 points and 10 rebounds to help Kansas complete the largest comeback in NCAA championship game history and beat North Carolina.
The 6-foot-10 forward averaged 10.6 points, 7.0 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 40 games last season. He is known for his commanding presence in the paint and rebounding skills. McCormack felt he showcased those qualities in the workout with the Lakers — and proved his shooting range isn’t as limited as people think.
“Today I definitely showed my strengths as far as being strong, being physical, rebounding, getting second possessions,” the 22-year-old said. “During a skill and drill work, during shooting drills, I was able to show that I had somewhat of a perimeter shot and doing pretty well on all ball screen defense.”
McCormack is an older draft prospect having played a full four years of college basketball. But the forward thinks his experience — and familiarity with the pressure of representing a renowned institution — would make him a good match with the Lakers.
“Being an older guy gives me, I would say, an understanding of the game, IQ, experience playing through adversity, and then also playing for Kansas you always have a target on your back just being one of those programs,” he said.
“When you’re with the Lakers organization, you have a target on your back you know. Everybody loves the Lakers. Huge fan base and everybody’s always gunning for them, so I kind of have that same mindset as if I’m playing for Kansas to the Lakers.
“You have to have the same mental fortitude and that transition.”
McCormack determined to maximise his chances in 2022 NBA draft despite fatigue
McCormack didn’t have much time to celebrate the national title. As a projected late second-round pick, he quickly returned to the gym to work out for NBA teams after Kansas secured its fourth championship on April 4.
But despite fatigue, the forward said he won’t slow down now that his dream of playing professional basketball is just around the corner.
“Why at this point, when you’re tired and a little bit fatigued… Why would you give up later on now, like, this has been your driving goal all your life, there’s no reason for you to let up when you’re right on the doorstep?” he asked.
“I really just remind myself of that and it just makes everything else easy.”
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