CHICAGO - It doesn't matter to Dionte Christmas where he winds up in the NBA draft later this month.
"I just want to have my name called," said Christmas, who averaged 19.5 points per game in his senior season at Temple. "To be honest with you, I'm not worried about first round, second round. I just want to have my name called. Even if I just get on somebody's roster, I just know that all that hard work paid off."
Christmas, who also played at Philadelphia Lutheran Christian Academy and Samuel Fels High School, has been busy preparing for the June 25 draft. He worked out for nine teams, including Detroit, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta, San Antonio and Miami, before last week's NBA draft combine, where he had interviews with Oklahoma City, Utah and Dallas.
A possible second-round selection, Christmas has delighted in the pre-draft process.
"I've been in nine different cities in a week-and-a-half, so I'm definitely enjoying it. It's fun," Christmas said. "I'm sure there's 500 other people who want to be in my position right now, so I'm just enjoying the process.
"It was great to come out here and play against some of the top talent. Some of these guys became good friends and helped me out a little bit. Again, it's a business. I came out here to handle my business, and I think I did a great job, showing teams what they needed to see out of me."
What he wanted to show teams most of all was that he could shoot.
"I know I'm a shooter so I just try to go to all these drills and workouts and come out being the best shooter out there," Christmas said. "Try to make as many shots as possible. I think I can fit in with any team right now. I think any team can use me as a shooter. I know there's a lot of great shooters in this draft and I just want to stand out."
A threat from beyond the arc, Christmas would have to adjust to the longer three-point distance of the NBA. He had a .352 three-point percentage last season, made half of his three-point attempts in four games, and went 5-for-5 against Penn in January. He also hit seven threes in Temple's Atlantic 10 Tournament title-game victory over Duquesne.
"I've been shooting long range in college, so why stop there," Christmas said. "It's more than likely I'll be taking a lot of midrange shots in the NBA, but I've definitely been shooting from behind the NBA three as of late and I feel pretty confident shooting the three at the next level."
Of the chance that he ends up with the 76ers, Christmas said he would be thrilled.
"That would be great. I know the Sixers need a shooter," he said. "I go to a lot of their games, so I know they need a shooter. For me to go to their workout and shoot the ball great would be big for me." *