Washingto, D.C., native Thomas Robinson had to wait longer than anticipated Thursday night, when the Cleveland Cavaliers surprised some analysts by using the No. 4 selection in the 2012 NBA Draft to take Syracuse guard Dion Waiters.
But when the Sacramento Kings chose Robinson with the No. 5 pick, the emotion came pouring out. He bowed his head in prayer, banged his fist against his chest and then embraced Jayla, his 9-year-old sister.
In January 2011, Robinson lost his mother, grandmother and grandfather within three weeks. But he used those tragic events to motivate him during an outstanding senior year at Kansas.
"I worked hard to get here and to see it all right in front of me, I got emotional," Robinson told reporters in Newark, N.J.
Robinson, a 6-9 power forward, played at Eastern High and Riverdale Baptist prior to transferring to Brewster Academy in New Hampshire. He went on to lead the Kansas Jayhawks to the national championship game this past season while averaging 17.7 points and 11.9 rebounds.
Kendall Marshall, the former All-Met from O'Connell High was both excited and nervous on draft night. He didn't know when the first point guard would be drafted. The NBA didn't even invite Marshall to Newark with the other players expected to be lottery picks. So Marshall decided to spend Thursday night at home in Dumfries, Va., with about a dozen family members and close friends. He figured he'd be sweating it out and he didn't want too many witnesses.
In the end, there was nothing for Marshall to be nervous about. He was chosen in the first round when the Phoenix Suns selected him with the No. 13 pick.
"It's hard to tell in these situations. Your future is basically in someone else's hands," Marshall said. "It didn't hit me until my name was called."
The 6-foot-4 Marshall, who was one of four North Carolina Tar Heels taken within the first 17 selections of the draft, set a single-season North Carolina record for assists, finishing second in the country by averaging 9.8 per game last season. As a Phoenix Sun, he could be the heir apparent to point guard Steve Nash, who is an unrestricted free agent.
University of Washington guard Terrence Ross, who played parts of two seasons for Montrose Christian, was drafted No. 8 overall by the Toronto Raptors.
Virginia forward Mike Scott was the only player from a local college to be drafted. The Atlanta Hawks selected him in the second round, No. 43 overall.