NEW YORK—Although he may not have received the same level of attention that his fellow Blue Devil top picks did, Cam Reddish is ready to make the jump to the top basketball league in the world.
At the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Reddish learned that he will continue his basketball career in Atlanta. The Hawks selected the Blue Devil starter 10th overall Thursday night.
On May 31, seven weeks and a day after he declared for the NBA Draft, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that Reddish would undergo surgery to repair a core muscle injury.
But Thursday night was not about Reddish's health, rather, a celebration of his budding career and the accomplishment of his former teammates, Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett.
"Zion was the No. 1 pick. I was ecstatic. I'm so happy to see him make his dream come true. RJ, No. 3. My emotions were just going all over the place," Reddish said. "Super excited for those guys. Obviously, I was taken No. 10 by Atlanta. That's really a dream come true, truly a blessing. I'm just happy to be here."
Under the radar at Duke
Playing alongside Williamson and Barrett, the first and third overall picks, respectively, left Reddish flying under the radar. The Hawks’ first round pick believes that his best is still yet to come.
“I think they saw glimpse and pieces of it. I’m not sure they saw the entire thing,” Reddish said Wednesday. “That’s why I work so hard to prepare for the next level.”
Although Reddish may not have been at the forefront of the limelight that shadowed the Blue Devil program this season, his teammates saw Reddish’s elite skill set from day one.
“Cam is a very talented, special player. I said this at media day yesterday: 'I wish you were at the scrimmages we had before the season,'” Williamson said. “I used to look at Cam like, man, this dude is different. He hit five threes in a row and then come dunk up the middle of the lane. His ball handling. That size is just different. I have a lot of respect for Cam.”
Reddish revealed he is “ahead of track” with regard to his rehab, but the prospects of playing in the Summer League are slim. He said it was “more than likely” that he would miss the Summer League, which would be the first time he would officially wear the red and white in a game.
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“I’m two weeks post-surgery,” Reddish said Wednesday. “I’m going to start jogging tomorrow and just go from there. But I’m feeling great.”
That core muscle injury as first reported turned out to be a groin injury.
The surgery was conducted by Dr. William C. Meyers at the Vincera Institute in Philadelphia. According to his hospital biography page, Dr. Meyers completed his residency and fellowship at Duke. He then went on to serve as the Chief for numerous surgery divisions.
While in Durham, he worked with Duke’s athletic department and was mentored by long-time Blue Devils head physician, Frank Bassett.
Meyers has performed surgeries on players in the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB and the MLS, as well as other Olympic sports such as tennis, track and field, golf and swimming. Earlier this month, Dr. Meyers successfully worked on Charlotte Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s chronic groin strain.
Unlike his favorite player of all-time Kevin Durant, Reddish said he expects to be ready to play in the fall before the season begins. According to the Duke player, Reddish and Durant have not had the opportunity to talk yet.
“I’ve seen him around, but I never spoke to him,” Reddish said of Durant.
Back in late November 2017, in a video posted on his YouTube channel, Durant talked highly of the recent addition to the NBA.
“Cam Reddish. Athletic. Long arms. Quick in transition,” Durant said in the video. “This kid can be a pro if he put the work in for sure. Nice turn-around J. Wow.
“His athleticism’s off the charts. You can spin and keep going and finish at the rim like that,” Durant said as he shook his head. “Next level.”
To conclude his remarks, the two-time NBA Finals Most Valuable Player left the Reddish portion of the video with a bold prediction for the future of the then-high schooler.
“I like this kid,” Durant said. “He’s going to be a star.”