Josh Selby had just completed his news conference following the Washington Wizards’ predraft workout this morning at Verizon Center when the former DeMatha player stopped briefly in the hallway, steps from a large picture of point guard John Wall wearing Washington’s new uniform.
“It’s good to be home,” Selby said.
At least he was in the vicinity. Selby is from Baltimore, but the 6-foot-2 guard spent plenty of time in the D.C. metropolitan area when he attended the Hyattsville school widely recognized for its prolific basketball program. Selby played two seasons with the Stags before leaving for Lake Clifton High in Baltimore for his senior year.
Selby was unable to participate in drills with other the invitees — center Brian Williams (Tennessee), forwards Denzell Bowles (James Madison), D’Mario Curry (Lincoln Memorial) and Delroy James (Rhode Island) and guard Cory Joseph (Texas) — because of a slight pull in his right quadriceps suffered during a workout yesterday for the Charlotte Bobcats. He said he was sitting out only today and that the ailment wouldn’t prevent him from future workouts.
“Very frustrating,” said Selby, who watched the proceedings from a folding chair on the auxiliary court. “I wanted to work out for the Wizards just because they’re so close to my home. I would love to come here, so it’s frustrating.”
Selby’s basketball career to this point has been exasperating at times too. He was placed on academic probation at DeMatha before transferring to Lake Clifton, and there was speculation his departure came perhaps with some acrimony.
When asked if he keeps in touch with other former Stags players such as Austin Freeman, the recently graduated Georgetown guard who worked out for the Wizards last week, Selby said: “To be honest, I haven’t talked with anyone from DeMatha for quite a bit because I changed my phone number.”
Selby had made a verbal commitment to Tennessee but withdrew that and wound up attending Kansas, where he had to sit out nine regular season games and pay $5,757.58 to a charity of his choice for accepting improper benefits prior to signing.
Selby had said prior to college he would be “one and done,” and he kept his word by declaring for the NBA draft after his freshman season. Selby played in 26 games for the Jayhawks, averaging 7.9 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. He scored a career-high 21 points in the first game, underscoring why he was selected preseason freshman of the year.
But he never quite settled in completely after that, and an ankle injury slowed his production considerably. Through his first 13 games, Selby averaged 12.3 points, but he never scored more than nine points during his final 13 games following the injury in February.
Kansas, meantime, advanced to the regional final, where it lost to upstart Virginia Commonwealth.
“Yeah, I’ve accepted it,” Selby said of his short time with one of the most storied programs in college basketball. “I’m not looking back, just looking forward. I don’t regret going there at all. Things happen for a reason, so I’m just trying to be strong and show everybody I’m still here.”