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Rookie Trevor Booker is making a name for himself with Washington Wizards

"[The Wizards] just want me to be tough, aggressive, bring a lot of energy and bring some character to the team," said Trevor Booker, center, who is averaging 8.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in summer league. (Laura Rauch/associated Press)
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That athleticism led to an eye-rubbing performance at the pre-draft combine in Chicago. Booker spent several months working two or three times a week with Lilian Abdelmalek of DSA Training in Atlanta. She tutored him on both his running form and his explosiveness -- having him run while dragging two 45-pound plates on a sled behind him, for example -- and he impressed the trainer with his dedication.

"When I said go, he went," Abdelmalek said. "He wouldn't sit around. He'd get there, and we'd constantly work."

When he arrived in Chicago, Booker excelled. His 3.10-second three-quarters-court dash was tops in the combine, just ahead of Wall's 3.14. He bench-pressed 185 pounds 22 times, behind only Luke Harangody's 23 reps. His vertical leap was 36 inches, tied for ninth of about 40 prospects (Wall was second), and his performance in the agility drill also tied for ninth (Wall was first). The San Antonio Spurs told Booker that in their overall athletic calculation coming out of the combine, he ranked first. It's an usual blend of speed and strength for a 6-7 forward.

"No doubt about it," Cassell said. "In college he was just more athletic than everyone, and 90 percent of the time he's faster than everybody on the team as a power forward. But right now he's learning."

Booker's father had always played football, but Trevor never wanted to follow suit, joking that he would have gotten heat stroke. (He did play baseball until he was 14, finding success as a left-handed power pitcher until encountering shoulder pain.) But he said administering contact is "part of my game," and said that may have contributed to his newest nickname.

"I guess [it's] because I'm just so tough out there on the court," he said. "Since I came to college, everybody's been telling me I'm so tough and aggressive."


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