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NBA Draft: Ray McCallum Jr. talks about time in Oklahoma, being a coach's son

Ray McCallum Jr. spent two years in Norman while his father, Ray Sr., served as an assistant for Oklahoma basketball coach Kelvin Sampson from 2004 to 2006.
BY JOHN ROHDE Published: June 22, 2013

When I was living in Norman, the hurricane (Katrina) hit New Orleans and I was there to catch some of the Hornets' games (at the Ford Center). All the success the Thunder has had the last few years and how they've grown as a team, how the whole city is behind them, it was fun to get back there and be in that atmosphere and see the practice facility they have. It was a great visit.

You've become a big fan of Russell Westbrook. Why is that?

The thing that stands out the most is his athletic ability. That's something I try to take pride in is being an athletic guard. I try to watch him as much as I can and try to take bits and pieces of his game and try to add it to mine. He's grown so much as a player.

Did you meet Russ while you were in town?

No, the only one who was there was (shooting guard) Jeremy Lamb.

Your thoughts on Thursday's draft?

This is something I've been waiting for my whole life. To know that this thing is so close, I'm just real anxious to see where I land and start the next step in my life.

Are you picky about where you go?

Honestly, I'll go anywhere. I just want an opportunity to play in the NBA.

You were a combo guard at Detroit, a scoring point guard. Do you see yourself having that same role in the NBA?

I think I'll be a point guard who has a lot of abilities. I could see being asked to run my team and get all my teammates involved, because that's what point guard does. A lot of successful point guards have been able to score the ball as well. Playing for dad the last three years has helped me grow in those areas.

Is playing in the Horizon League a fair criticism, that perhaps you haven't played against stiff enough competition?

Honestly, I have a lot of respect for the Horizon League. I think it's a tougher conference than people realize. Unless you really watch us play a conference game, you really have to grind it out to win. At this point, they (NBA scouts) know players. If a kid can play, then a kid can play.