Andre Drummond may be on the verge of becoming one of the most dominant centers in the NBA.
Andre “Dre” Drummond entered the NBA in 2012. The Detroit Pistons selected the Connecticut center with the ninth overall pick in the draft. Drummond has played three seasons in the NBA now, yet the 22-year-old (as of today, Aug. 10…Happy Birthday Dre!) still has an incredible ceiling left that he has only scratched thus far.
In Drummond’s high school basketball career he was regarded as “one of the most dominating centers in high school basketball.” ESPN placed Drummond as the number one player in the class of 2013, while Rivals.com and Scout.com had him at number two (only behind Anthony Davis). In his one year at Connecticut University, Drummond averaged 10 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game. He shot 53.8% from the field and helped lead his team into the NCAA Tournament, where they would be knocked out by Iowa State.
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Right when he put on a Pistons uniform, Drummond became one of the most effective players on the team, averaging 7.9 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in only 20.7 minutes per game. For his rookie year performance, Drummond earned 2012-13 NBA All-Rookie second team honors.
The 2013-14 season was Drummond’s “breakout” year, where his minutes took an enormous jump, as did his durability, playing in 81/82 games. The second-year pro started really asserting his dominance in the league as one of the best centers. He showcased his talents in the NBA Rising Stars Challenge, where he posted 30 points and 25 rebounds and was named MVP of the event. Drummond finished his sophomore season averaging 13.5 points and 13.2 rebounds per game, while shooting an incredibly efficient 62.3% from the field.
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NBA teams began to take notice of Drummond’s excellent play, and as a result, he earned a spot on the United States men’s national basketball team that won the gold medal at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. The bad side-effect of NBA teams realizing Drummond’s elevated game, however, is increased attention on the court. As a result, Drummond’s statistics took a dip last season, but nonetheless, he performed almost identically to the previous season. Only his field goal percentage took an 11% dip.
What Drummond provides the most on the floor for Detroit is offensive rebounding. No player in the entire league rebounds better than Drummond. He was first in both offensive rebounds and offensive rebound percentage in the last two seasons. This upcoming season, he’ll look to be even more aggressive on both ends of the floor and serve as the leading catalyst for the Pistons. With a new and improved core built around Jennings-Jackson-Johnson-Drummond, Detroit could be a dangerous team in the East.
Drummond was extremely kind enough to take the time to sit down for a one-on-one interview with me after his ICEO’s win at the Drew League. He talks about Stanley Johnson, Stan Van Gundy, and more:
With all that being said, there’s more to life than basketball. Drummond is a class act both on and off the court. He’s an extremely personable guy who loves his fans and giving back. In fact, Drummond is holding his 22nd “all-white” birthday party on the Detroit Princess boat on Aug. 16, an open invitation event to the first 500 of his closest friends. Some of the proceeds of the party will go to charity. He is also hosting an open invitation charity bowling outing on Aug. 15 at Classic Lanes in Rochester Hill.
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That is simply a testament to the type of guy Drummond is. He may be on the verge of becoming one of the most dominant centers in the league, but his personality is a key reason for why he will go far in both his NBA career and his life off the court.
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