BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- Western Kentucky University senior AJ Slaughter has already worked out with nearly a dozen NBA teams and his agent, Lance Young, expects that number to rise to as many as 17 in advance of the 2010 NBA Draft on June 24 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
"Going into his senior year, he certainly had some buzz, but I think after his performance at the Portsmouth Invitational last month, he really put himself on the map," said Young.
Slaughter averaged 16.0 ppg and 3.0 apg at the highly-regarded 58th Annual Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in early April. Held in Portsmouth, Va., the NBA pre-draft event features the top 64 college seniors who compete in a four-day, 12-game tournament in front of representatives from every NBA franchise.
Playing for the Norfolk Sports Club team, Slaughter finished in the top 10 in the league in scoring (T-8th) and three-point field goal percentage (9th), connecting on 5-of-12 attempts for 41.7 percent. Averaging 25.3 minutes per game, the Shelbyville, Ky. product was named to the prestigious 12-member All-Tournament Team.
"I have heard some teams make a comparison of AJ to Dana Barros who played with the Boston Celtics," commented Young. Barros played 13 seasons in the NBA from 1989-90 to 2001-02 as a member of the Seattle Sonics, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Boston Celtics, and the Detroit Pistons.
"Most teams want to see AJ get a little bigger, and for the past month he has been working out at the St. Vincent Sports Performance Center in Indianapolis where he has put on five pounds of muscle and he is loving it."
Slaughter has already worked out for the likes of the Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Hornets, Phoenix Suns, and Portland Trailblazers. Young said he is waiting on a few more playoff teams to get back with him as well, but when it is all said and done, as many as 17 teams will have worked out the former Hilltopper star.
"The travel takes its toll on these guys, but of the players I have represented, I have never had a client work out with more than 13 teams," said Young. "We are hopeful that AJ will be a middle to late second round pick."
Concluding his stellar four-year career at WKU ranking 12th on the all-time scoring list with 1,581 career points, Slaughter led the Hilltoppers to two regular season Sun Belt Championships, two SBC Tournament titles, and three NCAA Tournament wins. He finished his career on the Hill with a 97-40 record.
WKU has had more than 50 players join the professional ranks after leaving the Hill, including 31 who have played for current NBA franchises. Courtney Lee is the last Topper to be selected in the NBA Draft, chosen with the 22nd pick of the first round in 2008 by the Orlando Magic. He is one of five former Hilltoppers to have gone on to compete in the NBA Finals.