Although it’s a “waiting game” as to where it will happen, senior guard A.J. Slaughter told the Herald Thursday that his goal remains to play basketball professionally.
Slaughter said he’s headed home this weekend, when he plans to hire an agent before attending the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in Portsmouth, Va., from April 7-10. From there, Slaughter hopes to be invited to the NBA Pre-Draft combine in Chicago — notorious for sending its attendees to NBA Draft positions.
Last year, 52 prospects participated in the combine. The NBA Draft is made up of 60 picks over two rounds.
While the Final Four is decided this weekend, Slaughter said he doesn’t feel like his draft stock is dropping with the Toppers on the sidelines throughout the NCAA tournament.
“I’m not afraid of that,” Slaughter said. “I’ll just go to the camps and prove to the scouts that I can play at that level. They’ve been to many games and seen that I can play at a high level.”
If it comes down to playing overseas or in the NBA Development League, Slaughter said he’d look to family to help him make a tough decision. Although the D-League offers a greater chance to eventually play in the NBA, European leagues typically pay more up front.
Slaughter said he’ll continue working out three times a week, participate in individual drills with his Western teammates and work on his one-on-one game until his trip to Portsmouth.
The senior plans to graduate with a degree in sociology.
Look for more on Slaughter’s professional aspirations in Tuesday’s Herald sports section.