By Quintin Harlan
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
After spending a year playing professional basketball in Turkey, Gary McGhee was glad to be able to get some downtime to spend with family and friends.
Now the former Highland Scots/Pittsburgh Panthers center is anxious to resume his working toward his goal of making an NBA roster.
“It’s been good being home and seeing everybody,” McGhee said in a phone interview. “But I’m ready to get back to work.”
Tonight’s NBA draft will reveal the future plans for the 2012 draft class who will anxiously be awaiting their names to be called.
McGhee doesn’t have to wait for his name to be announced. His plans for the summer are already set.
The 6-foot-10 center will head out on Sunday to Oklahoma City to play for the reigning Wester Conference champion Thunder in summer league play in Orlando. Play starts on Monday, July 9.
To help keep his name on scouts’ lists, he’ll then pack his bags for the Las Vegas Summer League where he’ll suit up for the Los Angeles Clippers July 16 through 20.
McGhee played overseas in Bandirma, Turkey, for Bandirma Kirmizi — which translates to Red Bandirma — of the Turkish Basketball League. McGhee started all 30 games and averaged 10.5 points per game, 7.8 rebounds per contest.
He recently underwent Lasik eye surgery to improve his vision. After a couple of early bumps in the road, things have cleared up for him.
“It took me a couple of weeks. Everything was kind of bleary early on,” McGhee said. “I just had a checkup and I’m seeing 20/20 now and it feels good.”
McGhee has been working out in Plainfield to get prepared for his upcoming auditions.
“Just trying to keep my strength up and get ready,” McGhee said.
He even played in the Indy Pro-Am tournament at IUPUI, in the same gym where McGhee participated in the Nike Basketball Camp during his high school days.