Nick Mayo’s final predraft workout was Tuesday with the Charlotte Hornets. Now home in Maine, the Messalonskee High grad has done all he can to impress NBA scouts and general managers as they prepare for Thursday’s draft.

“It’s been fun, really,” Mayo said. “That’s the job. The No. 1 priority is getting better and playing basketball.”

In March, Mayo completed his college basketball career at Eastern Kentucky University. A four-time first-team Ohio Valley Conference selection, the 6-foot-9, 250-pound Mayo set the school record for career points (2,316). As a senior, he ranked 10th in the nation in scoring at 23.7 points per game, and second in the OVC behind Murray State’s Ja Morant, who is expected to be the No. 2 overall draft pick.

That strong career earned Mayo the opportunity to play in the Portsmouth Invitational, a showcase tournament for NBA draft prospects held in April in Portsmouth, Virginia. In three games in front of scouts from all 30 NBA teams, as well as representatives from European teams, Mayo averaged 14.3 points. He shot 53.6 percent from the floor, including 6 for 8 from 3-point range.

Despite his success at Eastern Kentucky and playing well against top competition in Portsmouth, Mayo knows he’s a longshot to hear his name called Thursday night.

“I probably won’t get drafted. There’s a lot of good talent out there,” Mayo said.

If picked, Mayo will join a short list of Maine natives selected in the NBA draft. Bangor-born but Florida-raised Jeff Turner was selected out of Vanderbilt University as the 17th pick of the 1984 draft by the New Jersey Nets. Old Town native Thomas “Skip” Chappelle was selected in the 11th round of the 1962 draft by the St. Louis Hawks.

The NBA draft now is just two rounds. Sixty players will be drafted, but 200 players think they should be, said Ben Pensack, Mayo’s agent and CEO of Pensack Sports Management Group.

“Drafted, undrafted, that doesn’t matter. The goal is to make an NBA roster,” Pensack said.

Tuesday’s workout in Charlotte was the 10th for Mayo with an NBA team. He also took part in a pro day in Las Vegas on May 27 in front of scouts from each team.

“The majority gave me a lot of good, positive feedback,” Mayo said. “Obviously, some teams told me some things I can work on.”

Pensack said NBA teams see Mayo as a stretch-4 – a big man who can shoot from the perimeter. Mayo’s shooting touch has been a plus, Pensack said, and he stresses that aspect of his client’s game when he chats with scouts.

“I think he’s the best shooting big in the draft class,” Pensack said.

An area Mayo needs to improve is rebounding, and Pensack said he expects that will come as Mayo continues to work out.

If Mayo is not one of the 60 players selected Thursday night, the next step is likely an invitation to join an NBA Summer League team. The summer league runs from July 5-14 in Las Vegas. The league serves as a tryout camp for all 30 teams, with each team sending a roster of rookies, second-year players, and players from G League affiliates. This season, the league also will feature the Chinese and Croatian national teams for a 32-team field. Each team plays four games, and the top eight teams advance to a championship round.

“I think it will be fairly soon after the draft (when Summer League offers come in),” Pensack said.

The goal at Summer League is to earn an invitation to an NBA training camp, Mayo said. Pensack and Mayo also can explore opportunities to play oversees. If Mayo elects to play in Europe, he’d join Maine natives Troy Barnies and Nik Caner-Medley, who have enjoyed long professional basketball careers in Europe.

For now, the goal is the NBA. Mayo will watch the draft unfold at home with family and friends. One thing Mayo has learned from the predraft process is to have fun with it.

“I’m getting better and playing against some great competition,” Mayo said. “I hope I get a shot, and can’t wait to prove people wrong.”


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