Trevor Releford Preparing for Professional Basketball [AUDIO]
The 2014 NBA Draft will welcome a new class of rookies to the league on Thursday, and former Alabama point guard Trevor Releford hopes to be among the names called.
The Crimson Tide's career leader in steals has been working out and training for the next level since his senior season ended in March, but he told The Chris Stewart Show that it's a day that he's been waiting for his entire life.
"I've been watching the draft for a while and to actually enter the draft this year is unreal," Releford told host Chris Stewart. "Even if my name doesn't get called, I know I did everything I possibly could to put myself in this position. And if I don't get called, that's just extra motivation."
While it's unlikely that you'll find Releford's name on any mock drafts, the point guard remains optimistic about making it to the highest level. And the statistics back up his belief. Along with being the all-time steals leader, Releford is fourth all-time in scoring at Alabama and finds himself in the top ten of six other categories.
But college stats aren't enough. He still has to prove his value to NBA teams. The biggest thing his agent has stressed to him during this process is that he needs to stay positive and be ready for an opportunity because he's put himself in a good position to play in the league.
"I feel like (my best opportunity) will be the free agent route, but my agent said I need to still hope. I had workouts for teams and I did well in them, too. I'm just waiting for a team to fall in love with me. It can happen tomorrow, it can happen after summer league, or in August sometime. I just have to wait and be patient."
Releford has the luxury of learning from the experiences of his older brother Travis, who spent the past season playing professionally in Belgium. The biggest advice Trevor has received is to take care of your body because the travel can wear you down if you're not prepared. Thankfully, that's a process that started a year ago at Alabama with the arrival of a new strength and conditioning coach.
"Coach Lou (DeNeen) helped me out with my body. He showed me a whole different side that I didn't know I had. I was able to play longer without foul trouble. It just helped my game out overall. I was able to do more things that I couldn't the year before."
Unfortunately for the senior, his final season in Tuscaloosa didn't go as planned. The team struggled to find any type of consistency and ended with a 13-19 overall record, but Releford said it wasn't due to a lack of effort.
"I feel like everyone came out and competed, played hard, and tried to buy into what the coach was saying. It just didn't fall our way this past season. You can't do anything about that.
"I think it made me appreciate the game more and know you have to work hard every day or things like that can happen."
Even though the program loses one of its all-time greats, Releford believes The University of Alabama should be much improved next season.
"I think it's going to be one of the best years next year for Alabama basketball. With the talent they have coming in and the players that redshirted last year, the sky's the limit for those guys."
The NBA Draft will take place in Brooklyn, New York, at 6:30 PM CT and air live on ESPN.