Darion Atkins tries to show Lakers why his ACC background is a benefit

Amile Jefferson, Darion Atkins, Justin Anderson

Virginia forward Darion Atkins, left, fouls Duke forward Amile Jefferson (21) during the first half of a game Jan. 31.

(Ryan M. Kelly / Associated Press)

Darion Atkins said he has “dropped off” most of the NBA draft boards, but the 6-foot-8 forward from Virginia has high hopes that his body of work in the tough ACC Conference has made teams remain interested in him.

Atkins was among a group of six players who participated in a pre-draft workout for the Lakers on Saturday at the team’s practice facility, his chance to show them why he deserves to be drafted.

He was the National Defensive Player of the Year as a senior and ACC Defensive Player of the Year, earning the honor in one of college’s basketball best conferences.

Atkins thinks that can be to his advantage, especially if he can guard three positions in the NBA like he thinks he can.


“I think coming from the ACC has helped me a lot,” Atkins said after his workout. “I think that’ll be a great transition over into the NBA because the physicality is going to be great in the NBA, but I think it’ll give me more of an advantage.”

The Lakers have the second overall pick in the June 25 NBA draft, but the players that worked out Saturday are expected to be taken either with their 27th pick in the first round or the 34th pick in the second round.

“I think people are telling me that I’m going to go anywhere in the second round -- not the first round – to not being drafted,” Atkins said. “I just want to see where I end up, which team wants me, which team wants to take a risk or a chance on me." 

Follow Borderick Turner on Twitter @BA_Turner


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