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Drew Ellis covers Oakland University basketball for The Oakland Press. His news and notes keep you up to date with Golden Grizzlies men's basketball.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Atlanta was as big a surprise to Benson, Kampe as everyone else

Oakland center Keith Benson Thursday became the first player from the school to get drafted by an NBA franchise, going 48th to the Atlanta Hawks, a team that had not worked him out. Oakland coach Greg Kampe was as surprised as Oakland fans that Benson had not gotten the call earlier, and that it was a team that had not much contact with the prospect outside of the NBA combine.
"That was one team I had not thought about. All the teams I talked to said he'd go between 20-35," Kampe said. "When it got that late, I thought he'd go to Detroit at 52.
"I'm very surprised."


Although shocked as his coach, Benson was excited to join a team headed in the right direction.
"I'm really excited to be picked by a playoff team and to be the first-ever player drafted from Oakland," Benson said via press release. "It means a lot to me. They have a lot of good players like (Al) Horford, (Joe) Johnson and (Josh) Smith. I am looking forward to taking the next step in my life."
Kampe called Benson's selection the next step in the process of building the Oakland.
"We got good," he said. "We won games and got into the (NCAA) tournament. We got a pro into the draft. That's just another progression of what we're trying to do."

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