Dominic Cheek never quite lived up to the billing that preceded his three seasons at Villanova, so it's no wonder the early-entry NBA candidate is looking forward to turning the page.
On Wednesday at St. Joseph's University, Cheek began the next phase of his basketball life, as he joined four other players in a pre-draft workout in front of 76ers coach Doug Collins and other team officials.
In his first workout since leaving Villanova, the 6-foot-6 Cheek - not seen by many as likely to be selected in the two-round draft - was joined by Kim English (Missouri), Mindaugas Kupsas (Lithuania), Alex Young (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis) and Temi Adebayo (Philadelphia University) in a workout that lasted about two hours.
Cheek was named a McDonald's All-American in 2009 after his senior season at St. Anthony's High School in Jersey City. He never fulfilled the promise that was expected of him at Villanova.
Last season, as a junior, Cheek averaged 12.5 points and averaged just 5.6 as a sophomore. He shot 39.8 percent from the field, and the Wildcats were a disappointing 13-19.
Rather than spend one more season in college, Cheek said he reached the decision to forgo his senior year for "personal reasons," pointing out that he wanted to take care of his grandmother and little brother.
"I was a little nervous at first, but I think it got comfortable, and it went well," he said.
Cheek knows he faces an uphill battle.
"A lot of people keep saying that I might go undrafted," Cheek said, "but it only takes one coach to like you."
Cheek returned to Bradenton, Fla., on Wednesday where he is working out at the IMG Sports Academy. Sixers Director of Player Personnel Courtney Witte said that Cheek's workout went well.
"He just has to keep playing and improving," Witte said. "I think he knows that he needs to continue working on his ball-handling and get consistency of his shot. Obviously, he was well-coached. He needs to continue to work on those and get ready for an opportunity."
The Sixers, who have the 15th, 45th and 54th picks in the draft, said they will bring in players over the weekend who they view could be drafted in the first round. The draft will be held on June 28.
Summer camp. The 76ers will be one of eight teams participating in the Orlando Pro Summer League (OPSL). The five-day event will take place from July 9-13 on the Orlando Magic practice court at the Amway Center.
In addition to the 76ers and Magic, the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz are set to compete. The Sixers roster is to be announced.
Here is the schedule:
July 9: vs. Indiana, 5 p.m.
July 10: vs. Utah, 11 a.m.
July 11: vs. Brooklyn, 3 p.m.
July 12: vs. Orlando, 5 p.m.
July 13: vs. Detroit, Noon
No Brackins. The Sixers will not pick up the option on forward Craig Brackins, so he will become an unrestricted free agent. Acquired by the Sixers in a trade with the New Orleans Hornets in September 2010, Brackins appeared in 14 games this season. He finished the season deactivated during the playoffs.