Ex-Jag works to get better

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When he's not swimming, he's playing pickup basketball games.

When he's not working out with former Augusta State assistant Lenny Carlson, he's working with out with current assistant Robbie McKinley.

Garret Siler's college basketball career ended in March. That doesn't mean he has stopped eating, drinking and breathing the sport.

The former Jaguar is doing everything he can to improve his chances of getting selected in June's NBA Draft.

"It's weird. You're on your own," he said. "I realize I like working out. I like getting better."

Siler is doing everything he can to become one of the 60 players selected in the NBA Draft's two rounds. He is currently projected to go to the Portland Trail Blazers at No. 56, according to nbadraft.net. The All-American center, who set the NCAA record for field-goal percentage, is in the process of adding a mid-range jump shot to his arsenal.

He also is trying to lose weight through exercise and by watching what he eats. The 7-foot, 289-pound Siler was told if he gets his weight down in the "270s" he's most certain to get drafted.

"If I have a '2' and a '7' in front of my weight," he said, "I'm good."

Siler improved his stock at the prestigious Portsmouth Invitational earlier this month. The only Division II player among the elite field of 64 seniors, Siler got off to a forgetful start. His first possession, he dribbled the ball off his foot. On his second possession, he got hung trying to dunk. His third touch: turnover.

Finally, on his fourth possession he dunked on an opponent.

"When I first started out I was scared," Siler said. "Once I got that out of the way I was OK. At first I was horrible.

"I wanted to show I deserved to be there like anybody else."

Siler finished the four-day tournament ranked second in field-goal percentage (.636), fourth in scoring (16.7) and eighth in rebounding (8.3 ). He was named to the all-tournament team.

"Nobody really knew who I was," Siler said. "For me to make the all-tournament team was really something."

Last week, Siler said NBA teams like Dallas, San Antonio, and Orlando have requested paperwork from him. Atlanta and Memphis have also shown interest.

Currently, he is in the process of finding the right agent for him.

Also, he's finishing up his education major leading into his May 9 graduation.

After that, he'll like go wherever his agent wants and continue to lose weight and work on his game. He will do that for about a month or so until the NBA Draft. He remains cautiously optimistic about his chances and left playing in Europe open as an option.

"I'm realistic," he said. "If the NBA doesn't work out so be it."

Reach Chris Gay at (706) 823-3645 or chris.gay@augustachronicle.com.

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DowntownJaguar 04/29/09 - 09:06 am
Good luck Garret! It will

Good luck Garret! It will not be the same without the screams of "Get him off the big man ref!" echoing from Christenberry.

Channing 100Proof 04/29/09 - 12:58 pm
The NBA likes size so he has

The NBA likes size so he has a good chance of going. The Spurs would be a great fit because he could learn from one of the best big men to play the game, Tim Duncan.

ASU student
ASU student 04/29/09 - 01:01 pm
I hope it happens. It will

I hope it happens. It will bring more talent to Augusta and if Augusta State can give the coach a nice chunk of change ASU can be a powerhouse in D2. Maybe, one day going to D1 ...

DowntownJaguar 04/29/09 - 07:55 pm
Dip has elevated this program

Dip has elevated this program immensely in the past five years. While Gary Tuell certainly achieved success in the conference as evidenced by his team's deep runs into the PBC Tournament--Dip has brought national success and recognition.

TheChairman 04/29/09 - 08:28 pm
Best of Luck, G... Lay off

Best of Luck, G... Lay off the wing buffet at Wild Wings, and you'll bee fine...

noway 04/30/09 - 09:21 am
Good points Downtown!! ASU

Good points Downtown!! ASU does NOT aspire to go DI - we are where we should be. There is no reason to go be a tiny, tiny fish in D1. Dip is doing great...hope they will figure out he's worth more money and find it. They find money for other things!!

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