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Dock pushes for pro career

In the aftermath of a relatively quiet senior season, Sean Dockery is doing all of the right things to get himself noticed before NBA Draft day June 28.

After averaging a modest 8.5 points and 2.4 assists per game in the final of year of an up-and-down career at Duke, few would have thought Dockery would be in position to hear his name called in Madison Square Garden on draft day.

But an impressive performance at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, in which Dockery averaged 13.7 points and 8.3 assists per game, has opened the eyes of NBA scouts and officials.

"He really helped himself at Portsmouth," a high-ranking Eastern Conference official said. "It happens a lot, when a guy gets in a different situation and a different system."

The tournament in Portsmouth, Va., which featured 64 college seniors hoping to make an NBA roster, is the only major postseason event before the Chicago Draft Camp in early June, according to its website. Dockery was a standout-he finished 13th in points per game and 2nd in assists.

Dockery said some scouts have commented his play in the tournament has positioned him to be drafted in the early second round.

"A lot of people were impressed with some things I did down there, and I feel like I played great," Dockery said. "I feel after I go to camps, some more guys will be able to see what I can do."

In addition, the same Eastern Conference official said the performance of former Blue Devils Daniel Ewing and Chris Duhon in the NBA will help Dockery's draft stock.

Like Dockery, Duhon and Ewing were strong defenders and solid point guards in college, and their style of play has translated well to the NBA. Duhon has averaged 8.7 points and 5.1 assists per game in his second year with the Chicago Bulls, while Ewing averages 14.5 minutes per game in his first season with the Los Angeles Clippers.

"The success of Ewing and Duhon will help him," the official said. "Duhon went in the second round, and if you could do it all over he'd go higher."

As he continues to prepare for other pre-draft activities, Dockery has worked to maintain his conditioning. He added assistant coach Johnny Dawkins has been especially instrumental in helping him stay focused.

"Every time we talk about [the NBA] he tells me to go after it," Dockery said of Dawkins. "He says go hard and that you got to be in top-notch shape and that's what I'm doing."

Dockery said despite all of the rumors surrounding his draft status, he has tried not to speculate too much about his NBA prospects. Instead, the senior has approached his workouts and play with the mindset that basketball is now something more than just a game-it's a possible profession.

"I'm going out there and it's a job now," Dockery said. "You got to go out there, and you have to work. That's what I've been doing, just having a chip on my shoulder and just going out there and playing."

The senior is also mindful of the fact that when it comes to the NBA Draft, there are no guarantees. He also said he is weighing other options if things fall through on draft day.

"I talked to some guys overseas and they're willing to have me over there-you always have to have a backup plan," Dockery said. "My agent and the people I'm working with, we're trying to make my dream come true right now."

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