ST. FRANCIS, Wis. Marvin Williams says he had never tried out for a basketball team, at least not that he could remember.
But here he was Sunday, on his 19th birthday, auditioning for the Milwaukee Bucks, hoping to be the first pick in the NBA draft.
"I'm pretty excited," Williams said as he walked out onto the Cousins Center court in suburban Milwaukee. "I have to show them what I can do, my moves and see what they like."
And off he went, to show them that he is a specimen, an athletic 6-foot-8 forward who should be selected over Utah seven-footer Andrew Bogut.
The Bucks entertained Williams and his attorney, Jim Tanner of Washington D.C.-based Williams and Connolly, Saturday night, including giving Williams a cake.
On Sunday, though, Williams' day was all about basketball.
Bucks owner and team president U.S. Senator Herb Kohl was one of the first to greet him right before he was measured, weighed, poked and prodded to gather his body fat count.
As he worked through the drills on the court mostly facing the basket with some post-moves sprinkled in most of the Bucks' hierarchy sat at a press table watching every move.
Williams essentially was working 1-on-0, with Bucks assistant coach Mike Sanders bumping him with a green pad on the way to the basket.
"There could be a little bit of pressure," Williams said afterward of the workout that could decide the No. 1 pick. "I'm just blessed to have the opportunity that somebody is willing to pay me to do this. How could it be better than that?"
Williams did show some jitters at times, not consistently knocking down jumpers and failing to finish at the free throw line after extensive work. A sign of fatigue? Perhaps, since he had to have his legs stretched a few times in between drills by Bucks strength and conditioning coach Tim Wilson.
"Going through this process for the first time can be very
nerve-racking for anyone, no matter who it is," Bucks general
manager Larry Harris said after the workout Sunday, but added:
"What you got to see is a guy with a lot of talent, a lot of up
There was at least one point when Williams slapped his hands in disgust after missing a shot.
"I felt like it went OK, to finally work out for a team," Williams, who has his second and final team workout with the Hawks on Wednesday, said. "I always want to be the best and on the court I try not to get frustrated but I do get emotional on the court."
What did the Bucks get out of this? Head coach Terry Porter needed to see Williams in the flesh. He said he's not a fan of evaluating a player on tape. He was impressed with Williams' skills and sees him as a 3/4 ... or a 4/3 ... in other words, somewhere in the frontcourt.
Porter is a fan of height, so a true center like Bogut, who is working out for the Bucks on Monday, might intrigue him. The Bucks could use either player, though, as long as they sign their free agent shooting guard, Michael Redd.
What did Williams' advisor think?
"We thought it's wide open [for the No. 1 pick] and we still do," Tanner said. "It's a matter of proving that they should pick him. He showed he's got the upside and showed that on the court. He showed his mid-range game and I was most impressed how he could finish in the post with either hand."
Tanner added that he believes Williams is the most marketable player in the draft because of his versatility in his game. He said he's already looking at several sneaker suitors that "want to be associated with his game and his high character."
Pretty heady stuff for a kid who didn't even start at Carolina.
Williams averaged 11.3 points and 6.6 boards off the bench for the champion Tar Heels. He never complained, nor did he prove to be too extroverted, either in the locker room or on the court. Not with juniors Raymond Felton, Sean May and Rashad McCants and seniors Jawad Williams, Jackie Manuel and Melvin Scott already entrenched in their roles.
He remains humble about going ahead of all of them in the draft.
Williams said he knew after Carolina won the title that it was time to move on, and as much as he loved college, he was ready for the NBA. He isn't by any means polished he admits he needs to get his shot sharper and become bigger (currently at 233 pounds) and faster.
"If it's Andrew Bogut, he's probably going to start. If it's
Marvin Williams, it's a situation where we have Desmond [Mason] and
Joe Smith at those positions right now," Harris said. "But one of
these two will have an impact."
Still, Williams is convinced that he's a top pick who will have an impact next season. And he knows who he'd take at No. 1.
"Andrew is a great player and he can do a lot of great things for his size," Williams said. "I think I would take myself but I don't think anybody knows what they'll do. It'll be a good decision either way if they choose me or Andrew. They can't lose."
Andy Katz is a senior writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.