Nate ready to wait

Nate Doornekamp, a seven-foot centre from Odessa, Ont., who played for Boston College, works out...

Nate Doornekamp, a seven-foot centre from Odessa, Ont., who played for Boston College, works out for the Raptors at the Air Canada Centre Thursday, May 26, 2005. (Toronto Sun/Alex Urosevic)

BILL HARRIS -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:24 AM ET

Nate Doornekamp is as realistic as he is tall.

"I don't expect to be drafted at all," said the seven-foot native of Odessa, Ont., after he took part in a pre-draft workout with the Raptors yesterday.

"I don't think I'm on anyone's draft board right now," added Doornekamp, a 22-year-old centre who played the past four seasons at Boston College. "I don't think anyone is sitting around the table talking about Nate Doornekamp. But hopefully, a few years down the road, I can find my way back into this league."

The NBA draft has two rounds, which means only 60 players from around the world will be selected on June 28. Doornekamp appreciates the fact the Raptors had a look at him yesterday, but he understands his best bet probably is to develop his game for a couple of years while playing professionally in Europe.

"I have a European passport and a lot of family over there because my father was born in Holland," said Doornekamp, who also hopes to be with the Canadian national team this summer when it takes part in the qualification tourney for the 2006 world championship.

The Raptors have four picks in the draft: Nos. 7, 16, 41 and 58. General manager Rob Babcock said yesterday other NBA teams already have approached him about dealing the No. 7 pick.

"We're not looking for a magic thing to get us absolutely in the playoffs next year," Babcock said. "We want to get in the playoffs, whenever that is, stay in the playoffs and compete for a championship.

"I don't think there are any quick fixes for us in the draft, at 7, 16, or anywhere down the road. So in that light, I certainly could consider a high school kid, or a kid who has had one or two years of college and is considered a project, if you feel the project is worthwhile. But we're not going to trade the pick for a quick-fix guy.

"We don't want to be in the playoffs for a year or two and then be back out again."

Besides Doornekamp, two other centres -- Luke Schenscher from Georgia Tech and Robert Rothbart from the pro league in France -- worked out for the Raptors yesterday. Montreal native Juan Mendez from Niagara University is one of four draft-eligible forwards scheduled to be on hand today.


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