EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Sitting courtside in a folding chair at the NBA predraft workout camp at the New Jersey Nets' practice facility on Friday, Brian Zoubek pondered how far he had come in a year's time.
In April, the seven-footer from Haddonfield High was a key reason why Duke took the NCAA national title. But at this time last year, Zoubek was only hoping to finally experience a healthy season for the Blue Devils. He had undergone foot surgeries before his sophomore and junior seasons, and wasn't able to right himself either year.
His performance in the 2010 postseason, however, was a revelation. It transformed Duke from a contender to a champion, and Zoubek from an afterthought to a legitimate NBA prospect.
Teams that have seen him include Miami, Boston, San Antonio and Detroit, and he will visit the Chicago Bulls on Monday.
"I would never have expected this," said a smiling Zoubek after working out in front of representatives of 23 NBA organizations at the PNY Center. "It's been an unbelievable year for me. I feel so blessed to be in this position, and to finally be able to show people what I thought I could do the whole time."
Zoubek was one of 12 players who took part in the three-day combine on Friday, which was the last day as teams prepare for the June 24 NBA draft.
Zoubek, who suffered more misfortune when an ankle injury limited him for the first half of last season, finally made Duke's starting lineup Feb. 16 against Maryland. All he did was total 16 points and a career-high 17 rebounds, and Duke was on its way to claiming the national crown.
In the Blue Devils' last nine games of the regular season - eight of them wins - Zoubek averaged six points and eight rebounds. But he also supplied toughness and made all the right plays in filling his role. His 143 offensive rebounds established a school record, and he led Duke in drawn charges with 16.
In the Blue Devils' last four tourney games, Zoubek averaged 10.3 rebounds, including 10 to go with eight points in Duke's 61-59 victory over Butler in the final.
"But for him, Duke does not win the national championship," said one scout in attendance, who gave Zoubek a favorable overall review after watching him workout on Friday.
"It's all about supply and demand," said another scout. "There are a lot of six-footers and 6-5's you can look at. Big men are not in abundance. Zoubek plays to his strengths, and plays intense."
When asked how he thought he did at the camp, Zoubek gave himself a passing grade.
"I think I showed what I can do, and I think they know what I can do for them," he said. "I think I played hard and competed, played defense, and hopefully, I showed I can shoot a little better than I showed at Duke. And I'll go from there."