The Herald Bulletin

June 25, 2011

McGhee to keep ‘grinding’ toward pro dream

By Quintin Harlan
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — The 2011 NBA draft came and went without Gary McGhee’s named being called.

Despite not being among the 60 players selected in this year’s draft class, the former Highland Scots and Pittsburgh Panthers center was staying upbeat with his posts on his Twitter account following the draft.

McGhee expressed his thanks to those that wished him well, saying, “Shoutout to everyone who had prayers and positive comments for me today ... God has a plan and I just have to follow it. Still on a mission!”

He then expressed his determination to keep pursuing his goal of playing professional basketball.

“I should have known I would have to take the tough route ... since that is the one I always take ... I’m (going to) keep grinding,” McGhee said in a tweet.

That grind won’t include some of the normal options that NBA teams have made available to undrafted players in the past. Normally, players not drafted have the opportunity to earn a job through team free-agent camps and summer league games.

This year, those paths aren’t available as the NBA and the league’s Players Association are going through negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement.

The current CBA expires next Thursday

On Friday, the National Basketball Players Association declined to present a new economic proposal to league owners. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday in Dallas the sides and have at least one more meeting scheduled before the current labor agreement expires.

Playing overseas has always been an option that McGhee was willing to consider. With the possibility of a lockout bringing the NBA to a halt — and no summer programs — playing for a team on another continent would be worth considering for McGhee even if he had been drafted.

“A lot of places have interest in me to come over and play for them,” McGhee said Thursday on “Not 4 Print” The Herald Bulletin’s weekly radio show on WHBU 1240 AM. “If the NBA doesn’t work out, that’s my backup option and that’s not a bad deal to have that. Hopefully (a) lockout won’t last too long and everybody can get back to what they do best and that’s play basketball. If the lockout is a long one, I’ll probably try to get a deal overseas. I’ll just have to play it day-by-day.”