MTSU's Dendy doubts he'll be drafted, does not intend to give up on NBA dream

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 6:36pm

Chances that LaRon Dendy gets taken in either of the two rounds of Thursday’s NBA draft are slim.

But if the unexpected happens, the former Middle Tennessee State star has plans.

“If my agent calls and let’s me know I’m going to get drafted, I might just fly to Miami and party down there,” Dendy said, laughing from his parents’ home in Greenburg, S.C., on Wednesday morning. “It is a very humbling experience because I never thought I’d be in the situation I’m in right now.”

The forward worked out for the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, capping off two weeks of sessions that included stops in Oklahoma City, Phoenix and with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Though most mock drafts don’t project Dendy as one of the draft’s 60 selections, the 2012 Sun Belt Conference player of the year said teams were impressed with his versatility on defense and ability to score from outside the post.

“Everything went good. I got a lot of good feedback,” he said. “They liked my energy, versatility and scoring.”

At 6-foot-9 and 230 pounds, he has the ability to play the small or power forward positions, which he believes will help him land, at worst, on an NBA summer league team.

“It was on my mind but I never thought it would come to reality,” he said.

Dendy, who originally committed to Clemson out of high school, spent two years at a junior college in Iowa before landing at Iowa State. When the most of the coaching staff left after his junior season, he followed former junior college teammate and MTSU standout James Washington to MTSU.

He had to sit out the 2010-11 season in order to use his remaining year of eligibility but it was worth it — for Dendy and MTSU.

With him in the middle, the Blue Raiders won a school-record 27 games, captured the Sun Belt regular-season championship and upset Tennessee to reach the third round of the NIT. Dendy led the team in scoring (14.6 ppg), rebounding (7.1 rpg) and blocks (48).

“That year of taking off, working hard, it put me to where I could be,” said Dendy, who graduated in May with his degree in communication studies. “Playing at Middle Tennessee and doing what I did really helped out.”

Last year’s success helped put the 23-year-old in a position he never imagined he would find himself — in the Los Angeles Lakers’ training facility.

A longtime Lakers fan, he didn’t get to meet his favorite player, Kobe Bryant, but the consolation prize wasn’t bad.

“I met his locker. That’s about it. Oh yeah, I took some pictures,” Dendy said laughing. “Just going out there and actually having a workout with them and being in the epicenter of the Lakers was awesome. I hope I can get to play with them and they call me up.”

Dendy hasn’t booked his flight to Miami — yet.

Instead, he plans to watch the draft in Spartanburg with his parents, sisters, aunts and uncles and grandma. If the phone doesn’t ring before the draft concludes, he won’t be discouraged.

“I’m just going to sit back and see how it all plays out,” he said. “I’ll see what teams call and want me to play on their summer league teams and go from there. I’m not going to be disappointed.”