INDIANAPOLIS – Lousiana State star Leonard Fournette has pulled his name out of the NBA Draft after he recorded a vertical leap of just 28.5 inches. The poor showing had sent the basketball stock tumbling for a player who is only 6-foot-1.
“I think almost any American kid who grows up playing sports thinks about playing in the NBA one day,” said Fournette, who averaged 11.5 points per game for LSU in his sophomore season. “Unfortunately, it’s time for me to set that dream aside and go after something else.”
While Fournette’s NBA hopes are finished, he is still expected to have a very good career in professional football.
“Thankfully vertical leap really doesn’t matter in this sport, at least not for a running back, which I think Leonard projects to,” said one NFL scout. “In fact, we try to encourage running backs not too jump because when they get airborne they open themselves to injury.”
In fact, Fournette could be the top back selected in the entire draft according to many NFL personnel staff members.
“He’s big, he’s strong, he’s fast and his game tape is jaw-dropping,” said one GM. “Would I have liked to see him knock down a few more threes in the three-point competition at the combine? Sure. But I don’t think that’s a great barometer for success at his position.”
However, Fournette’s NBA future might not be completely over.
“An athletic talent like him you have to look at, even with his injury history,” said a Sixers front office source. “We still think he has a 1st Round grade.”