Trio of Huskies Eagerly Await Draft Day

June 27, 2005

SEATTLE - They've waited their whole lives for this day.

Three University of Washington basketball players grew up in Seattle. They spent countless hours together, on and off the court. Prior to becoming Huskies, they played with and against each other in youth basketball leagues, on the AAU circuit and during prominent prep careers at powerhouse local high schools.

They hope all of their efforts in gyms throughout the city will be rewarded.

Will Conroy, Nate Robinson and Tre Simmons each hope to hear their name announced Tuesday during the NBA Draft.

Robinson has been projected in mock drafts anywhere from a late-first to mid-second round selection.

A two-time first-team All-Pac-10 Team member, Robinson led the Huskies and ranked sixth among conference players with 16.4 points per game his junior season. He received third-team Associated Press All-America acclaim.

Robinson concluded his career listed 18th among Washington scorers with 1,283 points. He ranks third among all-time Huskies with 140 career steals, fourth with 127 career 3-pointers and sixth in career assists with 295. Robinson distributed 159 assists in 2005, the third-highest single-season total ever for a UW player.

He averaged 13.2 points in 2004 after tallying 13.0 points-per-game during his 2003 campaign that was capped by his selection to the All-Pac-10 Freshman Team. Robinson is the first player in 15 years to lead the Huskies in scoring during three straight seasons.

The 5-foot-9 guard is the third Washington basketball player to leave school early and declare for the draft, joining Mark Sanford who was selected during the second round in 1997, and Doug Wrenn who was not drafted in 2003.

Robinson is a product of Seattle's Rainier Beach High School where he was a teammate of current New York Knicks standout Jamal Crawford.

Simmons and Conroy both prepped at Seattle's Garfield High School. They have been mentioned as second-round candidates, having their stock rise recently with stellar performances at the pre-draft camps.

Conroy completed his career as Washington's all-time leading playmaker with 515 career assists and a single-season record 219 in 2005. He became the first Husky in 30 years to lead all Pac-10 players in assists.

Conroy, who ranks 20th among all-time Huskies with 1,113 career points, received honorable mention All-Pac-10 accolades in 2005. The 6-foot-2 point guard averaged 9.4 points last season.

A first-team All-Pac-10 selection, Simmons established a new single-season school 3-point record in 2005 with 80. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard ranked second on the team with 16.0 points per game while averaging 4.8 rebounds and shooting 42 percent from 3-point range.

Simmons played his final two collegiate seasons at Washington after transferring from Green River (Wash.) Community College where he averaged nearly 30 points per game as a sophomore.

That terrific trio led the Huskies to a 29-6 record and advanced to the Sweet 16. Washington tied the 67-year-old school record for wins in a season, won its first Pac-10 Tournament championship and received a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever.

They are not the only Seattle-area players expected to be drafted Tuesday. As many as five athletes from the Emerald City could be called, including North Carolina freshman Marvin Williams from Bremerton High School and high school senior Martell Webster from Seattle Prep. Webster signed a letter of intent with Washington before opting to plunge straight into the professional ranks.

The last player to be drafted straight out of UW was Todd MacCulloch, the 47th pick overall by Philadelphia in the 1999 draft.

Washington has not had multiple players selected since the NBA trimmed the draft to two rounds. The last time more than one Husky was selected was 1987 when Chris Welp (1st round, 16th overall, Philadelphia) and Phil Zevenbergen (3rd round, 50th overall, San Antonio) were picked.

The last time UW had three players picked was 1982 when Dan Caldwell (3rd round, 52nd overall, New York), Steve Burks (8th round, 180th overall, Seattle) and Kenny Lyles (9th round, 199th overall, Denver) were selected.

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