All Ian Chiles wanted, whether he was drafted or not, was a chance to play in the NBA.
The 7-foot-2, 260-pound former Morgan State center didn't hear his named called during the NBA draft June 26, but soon he'll get his long-awaited chance to play for an NBA team.
On Monday, the Washington Wizards named Chiles to the team's 16-man roster for the Las Vegas Summer League, which begins Friday.
The news came as a surprise to Ian's father, who knew the Wizards were considering his son but was unsure whether he'd make it.
"I didn't know whether he made it or it was a tryout," Joel Chiles said. "But that sounds pretty good. I'm happy for him."
Chiles participated in a predraft workout with the Wizards on June 18, after which he said making a summer league roster was his backup plan if a team didn't select him in the draft.
"Hopefully somebody will pick me up in free agency or I'll get added to a team's summer league roster," Chiles, a native of Cliffside Park, N.J., said then. "Maybe just summer league — hopefully do well and get picked up through there."
Joel Chiles said they watched the draft together, and he could tell Ian was upset. But going undrafted didn't deter his son from chasing his goal.
"I think he was a little disappointed, but not surprised," Joel Chiles said. "Ian always seems like he has to prove himself, so I think he's going to continue to work hard like he's done all summer since graduation."
Chiles averaged 15.6 points and 6.5 rebounds a game in his final Morgan State season, and graduated May 17 with a degree in sociology. The day after graduation, he moved to Charlotte, N.C., to work on his game before predraft workouts.
Morgan State coach Todd Bozeman saw Chiles' eagerness to improve intensify leading up to the draft.
"His work ethic, I think it's gotten better over time," Bozeman said a week before the draft. "It's matured as he matures. I think as he gets closer to the NBA and smells it, it'll pick up even more."
So while Chiles has taken the next step in his pursuit to play in the NBA by making a summer league roster, that doesn't mean he'll get lazy. He didn't after the draft, Joel Chiles said, and he won't now.
"He's been working on his game, working on his conditioning — that's what pros do," Joel Chiles said. "I'm proud of my son. He's made me proud his whole life. I expect nothing but the best from Ian, and if keeps working at it, he'll be what he wants."
Notes: Former City forward C.J. Fair (Syracuse) and former Walbrook forward Roscoe Smith (UNLV) will play with the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers, respectively, in the Las Vegas Summer League. Both Fair and Smith went undrafted. … Undrafted Towson forward Jerrelle Benimon was named to the Miami Heat's summer league team roster for the Orlando Pro Summer League, which runs through Friday. Benimon has scored seven points and grabbed 12 rebounds in two games with the Heat.
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