Hometown Report

Michigan’s DJ Wilson to decide if NBA draft pool is warm enough to dive in

Michigan forward D.J. Wilson (5) points after his dunk during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Washington. Michigan won 84-77.
Michigan forward D.J. Wilson (5) points after his dunk during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Washington. Michigan won 84-77. AP

By leaps and bounds, DJ Wilson’s game and prospects continue to soar.

The 6-foot-10 forward for the University of Michigan by way of Capital Christian High School is leaping into the NBA draft pool, though he has not hired an agent.

Wilson has until May 24 to pull his name out of the draft and return to Michigan for his senior season.

He will likely be invited to the NBA combine that runs May 9-14 in Chicago, where prospects are presented with draft projection evaluations.

Wilson has a 7-foot-3 wingspan and improved his stock considerably this season, averaging 11 points for a team that won the Big Ten Tournament and reached the Sweet 16. Scouts are intrigued by his shot-blocking ability, inside skills and 3-point shooting.

Wilson told reporters in Ann Arbor, Mich., before the team’s recent season-ending banquet that he talked with those close to him in Sacramento about his decision.

“It was the advice that I got from the coaches and from people back home – close-knit people like my family. It’s a win-win situation. The good thing is I have a choice to come back (to college) or not.”

Cam stands out – Cameron Oliver, of Nevada and of Grant High, is also testing the NBA draft waters for the second straight spring. He has not signed with an agent.

The 6-8 forward had a standout sophomore season in helping power the Wolf Pack to their first NCAA Tournament showing in 10 seasons. He averaged 16 points and 8.7 rebounds and regularly drew the attention of scouts.

Pope returns – Malik Pope of San Diego State, who prepped at Burbank and Laguna Creek, considered the NBA draft but will return for his senior season.

The 6-10 forward averaged 11 points and 6.1 rebounds. Pope explored the draft last season but did not sign with an agent and was able to return.

Walker honored – Charles “The Whale” Walker headlines the Sacramento City College Athletic Hall of Fame induction class on Friday.

Walker was the first player to be named to The Bee’s All-Metro basketball first team three times (from 1957-59), the first two seasons with McClatchy and then as a senior at Sacramento High, where he helped the Dragons go 23-0.

The other three-time Bee first-team selections were Bill Cartwright of Elk Grove in the mid-1970s, Ronnie Walton of Grant in the mid-1990s, Jordan Ford of Folsom from 2014-16 and Jordan Brown of Woodcreek, who last week was named The Bee’s Player of the Year as a junior. Brown could become The Bee’s first four-time first-team player.

Walker played at Sac City in 1959-60 and then at Sacramento State before playing several seasons with a local Amateur Athletic Union team sponsored by Salter Pontiac.

The other Sac City inductees include: Jared Brown (football, 1991, ’92), Matt Castro (swimming, 2002, ’03), Malachi Davis (track and field, 1997, ’98), LaSadies McClain (track and field, 2004, ’05), Shannon Padovan (softball, 1987, ’88), Deja Sweeney (volleyball, 2003, ’04) and Joe Thurston (baseball, 1998, ’99).

Joe Davidson: 916-321-1280, @SacBee_JoeD

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