News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Indiana State University

June 24, 2014

Jake Odum about to reach red letter date in his career

TERRE HAUTE — Terre Haute’s Jake Odum made a name, a reputation and a wonderful career for himself during his four seasons at Indiana State. If nothing else were to happen in his basketball life, he’ll always be one of the Sycamores’ all-time best.

Of course, Odum wants more. He wants to play in the NBA. Since ISU’s season concluded in late March, he’s been on a three-month quest to fulfill his dream.

It’s been a whirlwind process, and through it, Odum might have learned as much about himself, where he stands in the professional pecking order and what it’s like to play basketball as a profession rather than as a student-athlete in his 90-day odyessy than he did during his entire college career.

Odum had to quickly go from student-athlete, his inner sanctum somewhat limited to ISU’s staff and local friends and family, to a professional keeping an agent as his counsel as he braces himself to hear blunt assessments of his place in the basketball world from the teams he seeks to prove himself with.

Odum’s professional quest has its red letter date Thursday as the two-round NBA Draft takes place at 7 p.m.

Will Odum hear his name called? If he does, it would likely be late in the second round. Odum has received good reviews from some NBA Draft experts. He is usually included in the lists of players to be considered for the draft. He’s had mixed success being mentioned in the mock drafts that fans like to take into account.

Mock drafts are meaningless, of course, and the fact that Odum has had 10 NBA workouts says a lot more about his viability as a possible NBA player. While Odum received plenty of local attention for his Indiana Pacers workout June 12 (the Pacers have one pick … late in the second round), it’s probably more noteworthy that he had a second workout at Orlando on Monday.

Even if Odum isn’t drafted, he’ll still have options. There’s the NBA Developmental League and myriad choices overseas. In some ways, not being drafted could help Odum find a situation which better suits him.

But before that happens, the NBA Draft has to play out first. Odum was contacted late last week by the Tribune-Star to give an overview of his burgeoning professional career. This Q&A was done just before his weekend workout with the Los Angeles Lakers.

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