With the 26th overall pick of the NBA Draft the Indiana Pacers selected a man very familiar with the state in Miles Plumlee of Duke.
The Warsaw, Indiana native and Duke Plumlee worked out for the Pacers last Tuesday. The last time Plumlee had stepped on the Pacers' practice court, the Duke Blue Devils were preparing to play the Butler Bulldogs in the 2010 NCAA National Championship game.
Duke won that game in 61-59 in nail-biting fashion, and the memories from Plumlee still run deep.
"Even last night (June 18th) I was walking by the monument and getting some food," said Plumlee. "I just remembered coming out there after the game and I'll just never forget it."
Plumlee helped lead the Blue Devils to a 27-7 record during his senior year, averaging 6.6 points and 7.1 rebounds on 20.5 minutes per game. Plumlee was potentially projected to go somewhere in the second round of the draft, but his draft stock rose during his workouts with various teams.
When he was in the city working out for the Pacers, the seven-foot center was hoping he could get across how badly motivated he wanted to play on the professional stage.
"I just want to show how bad I want this," said Plumlee. "I've been working for this my whole life. It's a dream of mine, and I feel like I have the skills and physical tools to play in this league a long time."
And though Plumlee moved to North Carolina to play high school basketball, the Warsaw native still feels he can be considered part of the hoosier-hysteria that runs through the state of Indiana.
"I think we just love the game," said Plumlee about basketball players from Indiana.
"I know everybody who I talk to who has played up growing in Indiana has played as long as they can remember, and I'm included. When you grow up playing game it is kind of natural for you, and I think those intangibles kind of translate, especially at this level."