Chiriaev files for NBA Draft

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:15 AM ET

Former Oakville high school star Ivan Chiriaev has filed as an early candidate for the 2005 NBA draft.

The St. Petersburg native played for St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Oakville before signing with Moscow Dynamo of the Russian professional league this season.

Although he played very little with Dynamo, the 7-foot-1 centre has entered his name in the draft. He has until June 21 to withdraw from consideration if he feels that he is not likely to be selected, which is what he did last year.

As a prospect, Chiriaev, 20, is an enigma. He has size, great versatility and good shooting and ball-handling skills for a big man, but has yet to prove himself against top-flight competition. Reports out of Moscow say that he has dropped 31 pounds (to 215 from 246) and is much quicker.

According to reports, more than 20 NBA scouts have agreed to attend a workout by Chiriaev on June 7 in Italy. Dynamo coach Valery Tikhonenko will run the workout.

But insiders believe it's doubtful that Chiriaev will be drafted. In terms of eligible picks from Europe this year, Chiriaev is ranked 21st by the NBA draft website, DraftCity.

NBA pre-draft workouts began this week and the Boston Celtics were scheduled to put 7-foot Boston College senior Nate Doornekamp of Odessa, Ont., through his paces yesterday.

The Raptors will begin their workouts next week at the Air Canada Centre.


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