Virginia Tech forward Deron Washington was chosen by the Detroit Pistons in the second round of the 2008 NBA Draft, which was held last week in New York City.
The high-flying Washington was the 29th selection in the second round, and the 59th overall pick in the draft. He became the first Hokie selected in the draft since 1999, when the Utah Jazz selected Eddie Lucas 58th overall.
Washington was one of only four ACC players drafted. The others included J.J. Hickson of N.C. State, Sean Singletary of Virginia, and James Gist of Maryland.
Virginia Tech head coach Seth Greenberg believes Washington is definitely a NBA-caliber player, and proved it in college.
"He can guard anyone from a point guard to a power forward." Greenberg said. "Here's a guy who guarded Sean Singletary, Jack McClinton, and James Gist. Who else in the draft, regardless, did that?"
The 6'7" Washington certainly has had an illustrious career at Tech. Along with starting all four years, he ended his career 16th all-time in scoring at Virginia Tech, as well as top 10 in steals and blocked shots.
Washington finished his career as one of three Hokies ever to record 1,300 points, 600 rebounds, 100 steals, and 100 blocked shots.
He saved his best for his senior season, as he was second on the team in scoring (13.1 ppg) and rebounding (6.5 rpg). He helped lead the team to a fourth place finish in the ACC, and a berth in the NIT tournament. The Hokies fell in the quarterfinals to Mississippi; Washington's career finale in which he scored 23 points.
Even with the inability to palm a basketball, Deron Washington became known around the country for his acrobatic dunks, many of which became top plays on Sportscenter, including one where he seemingly hurdled Duke's Greg Paulus. Because of his jaw-dropping slams, he was selected to participate in the 2008 Slam Dunk competition in San Antonio.
His talent for incredible dunks is due in large part to his unbelievable athletic ability, of which NBA Draft expert and ESPN.com writer Chad Ford thinks highly.
"Washington is one of the most athletic guards in the draft," Ford told ESPN.com, "an explosive leaper, but just a so-so player."
Washington indeed needs to work on some of his game to contribute at an NBA-level, particularly his shooting, in which he shot only 41.6 percent from the field his senior year, as well as 26.9 percent from three-point range.
Greenberg said that he still needs to work on some his game to be ready for the NBA.
"His passing he needs to improve on, and his recognition of situations," Greenberg said. "...and on defense, seeing plays before they happen."
Washington is now only the second Virginia Tech player ever to be drafted by the Pistons. The first was Russell Davis, who was selected with the 90th pick in the 1976 draft.
Washington is currently on the roster for the Detroit Pistons Summer League team. The Pistons Summer League schedule consists of five games, the first of which will be played July 11.