Kendall Marshall was nervous.
Despite what all the mock drafts said, the former All-Met from O’Connell didn’t know when the first point guard would be taken in the 2012 NBA draft.
He hadn’t been fully healthy during the draft evaluation process, still recovering from the broken wrist and fractured elbow that sidelined him during North Carolina’s run in the 2012 NCAA tournament. He figured three of his Tar Heels teammates — Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Tyler Zeller — would be picked before him.
Marshall wasn’t even invited to Newark with the rest of the players expected to be lottery picks. So he spent Thursday night at home in Dumfries with about 12 family members and close friends. He didn’t want too many people to see him sweat.
As it turned out, Marshall had nothing to worry about. He was one of three players with Washington-area ties to be selected in the first round when the Phoenix Suns chose him with the No. 13 pick.
“It’s hard to tell in these situations. Your future is basically in someone else’s hands,” Marshall said. “It didn’t hit me until my name was called.”
Thursday was the culmination of a journey that started when he was ranked as the No. 1 fifth-grader in the country and became a starting point guard on Evangel Christian’s high school team at age 11.
The 6-foot-4 Marshall, who was one of four Tar Heels selected within the first 17 picks of the draft, set a single-season North Carolina record for assists, finishing second in the nation by averaging 9.8 per game this past season. In Phoenix, he could be the heir apparent to point guard Steve Nash, who is an unrestricted free agent this year.
“I’m excited either way,” Marshall said. “If he’s still there, I feel like he’s a player I can really learn a lot from. He’s one of the best ever.”
Washington native Thomas Robinson had to wait a little longer than expected when the Cleveland Cavaliers surprised some by using the No. 4 pick to take Syracuse guard Dion Waiters.
But it didn’t take away from the emotion that came pouring out when the Sacramento Kings selected Robinson with the No. 5 pick. His head bowed in prayer, Robinson pounded his fist against his heart and soon hugged his 9-year-old sister, Jayla.
In January 2011, Robinson lost his mother, grandmother and grandfather within three weeks. But he used those tragedies as motivation during a spectacular senior season at Kansas.
“I worked hard to get here and to see it all right in front of me, I got emotional,” Robinson told reporters in Newark.
The 6-9 Robinson, who played at Eastern High and Riverdale Baptist before transferring to Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, led the Jayhawks to the national championship game this past season while averaging 17.7 points and 11.9 points.
Washington guard Terrence Ross, who played parts of two seasons for Montrose Christian, went No. 8 overall to the Toronto Raptors.
Virginia forward Mike Scott was the only player from an area college to be selected when the Atlanta Hawks chose him with the No. 43 overall pick in the second round.
Syracuse forward and former All-Met Kris Joseph (Carroll) went No. 51 overall to the Boston Celtics. Georgetown’s Jason Clark (O’Connell), Hollis Thompson and Henry Sims, as well as Maryland guard Terrell Stoglin, all went undrafted.