Kevin Dillard was among about two dozen college basketball players invited to compete at the LeBron James Skills Academy in Las Vegas last week, and one of the highlights for the group was joining James for a banquet and quizzing him about his path to the NBA.
“We could ask any question we wanted, and he answered honestly. They turned the cameras off, and he was just being real about everything,” Dillard said. “That was pretty cool to be able to pick his brain a little bit and see what he had to say about the progression of making the dream come true.”
Asked if he had any questions for the three-time MVP, Dillard said, “Nah, I’m too shy ... but I listened to every answer.”
The University of Dayton senior point guard may have been bashful during the Q&A, but he didn’t have any trouble being assertive on the court.
The college players did drills and scrimmaged in front of NBA scouts while also working with top high school players, and the 6-foot Dillard stood out among a group that included Michigan’s Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr., Murray State’s Isaiah Canaan, Creighton’s Doug McDermott and ex-Xavier star Mark Lyons.
A report on NBADraft.net said: “Dillard was a pleasant surprise to scouts. He’s a solid shooter and plays hard. His size is a major detriment, however his quickness and length (6-5 wingspan) does help him.”
Dillard earned the invitation by performing well at the Deron Williams Skills Academy for point guards in June. Only the best players from the Williams, Kevin Durant and Amare Stoudemire academies moved on.
“In that short amount of time — I was only at both camps for about seven or eight days — I feel like I learned some valuable lessons and techniques that can really help elevate my game a little bit,” Dillard said.
UD coach Archie Miller isn’t surprised Dillard made a favorable impression on scouts.
“He’s earned it,” Miller said. “He’s prepared really, really hard. He’s been as motivated as any guy I’ve ever been around.”
Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2125 or dharris@DaytonDailyNews.com.