They say San Diego isn’t a good basketball town, but at least the few players we do send to the NBA know how to play a team game. And two players drafted out of 60 overall picks in a global game that included 13 foreign athletes mixed in with the collegians isn’t a bad percentage.

Jared Dudley, a 6-foot-7, 222-pound forward from Horizon High by way of Boston College, is the latest example of how San Diegans play the game. He was the 22nd pick overall in the first round by the Charlotte Bobcats.

Dudley wasn’t a spectacular athlete at BC, but with his all-around game, he was the ACC Player of the Year.

But as it turns out, Dudley wasn’t the only San Diegan drafted. Dominic McGuire, a 6-8, 210-pounder from Lincoln High by way of Fresno State, was a second-round pick as the 47th overall choice by the Washington Wizards. He was a second-round All-WAC choice that was fifth in the nation in blocks shots.

Dudley’s challenge now is to adapt his all-around game that played so well in college to the NBA, where pushing and shoving your way to the basket is valued more than pick and rolls.

But I’ll say this: He’s a better choice at 22nd overall this year than the Bobcats made last year with Adam Morrison of Gonzaga as the third pick overall.

Morrison was destined to be an NBA dud. He’s a shooter with a thin body who can’t play defense or rebound. He started only 23 games as the third pick of the draft on a bad team. What does that tell you?

It tells me he’s the Ernie DeGregorio of this decade — a great college offensive player who can’t survive the physical demands of the NBA.

Dudley and McGuire could double San Diego’s NBA roster. San Diego’s only two NBA players last year were Luke Walton with the Lakers and Scot Pollard with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Both players, like Dudley, survive on basketball skills and savvy.

And then next year, a San Diegan with talent and basketball savvy, will probably be a lottery pick. Arizona’s Chase Budinger of La Costa Canyon High wisely returned to college for another year to gain strength for the NBA, but he will likely enter the draft next year following his sophomore season.


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