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June 27, 2013Reggie Bullock has been a character on and off the court for North Carolina the past three years, as the Kinston (N.C.) native was able to fit in nicely with the Tar Heels coming into college and contributing to two ACC regular championship teams that competed in the Elite Eight.
Now, Bullock has another dream to fulfill, as he has been working countless hours to show how worthy he is to have his name called during the NBA Draft.
"Hopefully it all works out that I can be in the first round, but I'm not expecting anything," Bullock said according to the Associated Press this week.
"I feel like I just need a chance. ... Wherever I land, I'm just glad to be in this process. I'm just going to work hard to be on an NBA team roster, and hopefully it'll all work out from there."
On Thursday night, that dream came true, as the LA Clippers selected Bullock with the No. 25 selection of the first round Thursday night, which provides Bullock a guaranteed contract to start his professional journey.
Bullock came to the Tar Heels in the 2010 class with fellow teammates Harrison Barnes and Kendall Marshall, who both moved on to the NBA last year.
"I am thrilled, just absolutely thrilled for the young man. I'm as ecstatic as I could possibly be. I spoke to Reggie just moments after he was selected and he's so happy and excited. He really did a great job throughout the pre-draft process with his workouts and interviews, especially with the Clippers," said UNC head coach Roy Williams of Bullock's selection.
"Everyone knows by now that I was a bit scared initially about his decision to enter the draft because the NBA people that I spoke to said he was a borderline first or second round pick. Most of them told me they thought he would go in the top of the second round, including the NBA evaluation committee. So that was the cause of my concern for someone I care so much about."
"But the Clippers selecting Reggie in the first round shows everyone how well he performed under pressure in the pre-draft workouts. I take my hat off to him. He earned that first round pick."
"He's going to play for an outstanding coach in Doc Rivers, a friend of mine. Doc's going to do great things with the Clippers and I am just thrilled that Reggie is going to get a chance to be part of that success," Coach Williams continued.
Ranked as the No. 10 prospect nationally in the 2010 Rivals 100 (and the No. 1 shooting guard), Bullock fit neatly into the Williams system, coming off the bench early on in his career before eventually becoming a starter for UNC.
Bullock was looked at as a leader on both ends of the court his junior season this past winter, as he put the ball in the basket consistently while being one of the Tar Heels' top defenders on the floor.
Bullock averaged 13.9 points per game his junior season, while grabbing 6.5 rebounds a game in the four guard lineup.
Bullock, of course, had to decide whether or not to return for his senior season, as his fellow teammates James Michael McAdoo and P.J. Hairston faced the same hard choice.
McAdoo and Hairston chose to return for another year, but Bullock felt this was his time to showcase his talents in the NBA.
Throughout the draft process, Bullock was characterized as one of the more consistent shooters, something that he was able to show throughout the 2012-2013 season, shooting 48.3 percent from the floor and 43.6 percent from three.
Bullock developed his quick release and moves well without the ball, especially when coming off screens and looking for his jumper. Rebounding at 6-7 also was a big attraction for Bullock in the draft, as he developed into a consistent rebounder in the four guard lineup during his final season at Carolina.
However, some teams have thought that even though Bullock was a consistent shooter, he lacked the ability to go one on one with a defender and didn't attack the rim as much as people thought he would (only averaged 2.1 free throw attempts per game).
How he might fit in with the Clippers
Bullock will be looked at mostly a consistent role player that could come off the bench but also might be able to crack his way into the starting lineup, if he is able to develop more of his game.
Most likely though, many people could see him in a role similar to fellow former Tar Heel Danny Green with the NBA Finalist San Antonio Spurs---a player that can provide an outside presence while being one of the top defenders on the team.
Bullock will now be teaming up with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, giving new Los Angeles head coach Rivers a solid defender on the perimeter as well as an outside shooter.
The Clippers shot just over 30 percent from behind the arc last season and Bullock will be able to come in behind the likes of Chauncey Billups, Jamal Crawford, and Caron Butler.
There is no doubt however, that the Clippers know what they are getting with Bullock, as over 60 percent of his shots were jumpers.
Put that along with his defense, the Clippers could have a solid group coming off the bench, while being able to spread the floor for the stars on the team.
Bullock's Thursday selection by the Clippers gives North Carolina a total of 14 NBA Draft first round selections over the past decade alone.