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Dionte Christmas

Dionte Christmas

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There were 60 players taken in last night's NBA draft.

Temple shooting guard Dionte Christmas, who basically averaged 20 points a game in each of the last three seasons and helped lead the Owls to Atlantic 10 titles in each of the last two, was not among them.

Despite the fact that a lot of people figured he would be, and even though ESPN analyst Jay Bilas had him listed as one of the best available players left at the end.

Two other Big 5 players, Villanova's Dante Cunningham and Saint Joseph's Ahmad Nivens, were picked - at Nos.

33 and 56, respectively.

In all of those City Player of the Year discussions back in March, the three of them were considered equally worthy.

Now, one of them will have to take a different path.

It's a pretty safe bet that Christmas will sign with some team as a free agent.

If nothing else, he can put the ball in the basket from long range, which is always a valuable asset.

And this way, it could even work out to his advantage, since he might be able to choose the situation that looks to be the best fit.

"It's disappointing," said Christmas, who was watching from his home.

"My dad is real upset.

But I've been an underdog my whole life.

People weren't expecting me to do what I've done thus far.

I've put it in God's hands right now.

Some team is going to want me.

And I'm going to give them everything I've got.

Nothing less.

"I wanted to hear my name called.

My family wanted to hear my name called.

If that would have happened, it would have been a blessing.

I'm upset.

I'm going to lay low for a little bit.

Then I'm going to get back to work to show everybody that I belong.

I've definitely got a chip on my shoulder.

That's [my motivation]." *
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