Busy Singler still plans to follow NBA Draft tonight

As exciting as it may be, Kyle Singler's got too many other things on his plate to concern himself with than life as a potential movie star, including a pair of summer school classes.

He wrapped up work at Duke's basketball camp for middle school-aged kids on Tuesday, and flew out Wednesday to work at the Vince Carter camp for high school players in Orlando, Fla.

Later in July, Singler plans to work at the Lebron James camp as well.

"It's a lot of fun," he said of instructing potential stars of tomorrow. "A lot of it is actually for us, too. A lot of the college kids come out and help and we get to play pickup games at night, so it kinda helps us to get together and compete against some good guys."

Singler was in Medford for a month or so until this past weekend and, among other things, enjoyed being able to see younger brother E.J. play in the Rose City Showcase in Portland. E.J. Singler is currently one of the top players on Oregon's Team Jones 17-and-under AAU squad and is increasingly drawing attention from Division I scouts.

"I hadn't seen him play for about a year or so, but he's definitely improved and that was exciting to watch," said the elder Singler.

Coming off a season in which he was named Atlantic Coast Conference rookie of the year and third-team all-conference, Singler said he's been working hard to hone his all-around skills, with an emphasis on his ballhandling and shooting. He's also been diligently trying to pack on more pounds to strengthen his game, and is up to 240 pounds these days.

"I've been packing in the food, but I don't know if I'll be able to maintain that or not," he said, interestingly enough during a lunch break Tuesday. "It depends on when we start to do all of our running."

Singler said Duke teammate Nolan Smith was set to make his way to New York in support of Beasley for tonight's NBA Draft, but his only hope will be to catch the draft on TV while in Florida. Of particular interest for him is where fellow Class of 2007 graduates will wind up.

"It's going to be a good draft," he said. "I'm excited to watch the guys that I grew up with and played against. I'm excited to see where Kevin (Love) lands, I'm really happy for him."

NBA analysts are predicting that six of the top seven selections tonight could all be college freshmen, with Lake Oswego's Love thought to be going No. 5 to Memphis and Beasley, Derrick Rose and O.J. Mayo in competition for the top three spots.

In all, 12 freshmen may possibly go in the first round, which would be a first for the NBA draft.

According to a Tuesday article by Andy Katz of ESPN.com, UCLA coach Ben Howland said that number could easily have been more had Singler entered the draft.

"He's someone that gets lost in the shuffle, but he might be as good as anybody else (in the class)," said Howland.

Just being part of such a special class is enough for Singler at this point, who was adamant about returning for his sophomore year throughout his freshman campaign.

"That's not really important," Singler said of projecting where he possibly could've gone in the draft. "I know most of these guys and they're all my friends, so I'm just happy for them."

Reach reporter Kris Henry at 776-4488, or e-mail khenry@mailtribune.com

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