UCF Fastbreak - June 25

June 25, 2009

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Draft day is finally here. Thursday evening, the National Basketball Association will hold its annual draft in New York. Former UCF star Jermaine Taylor (Tavares, Fla.) is hoping to hear his name called.

The two-round draft begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be televised live on ESPN.

Taylor, who ranked third nationally in scoring as a senior this past season at 26.2 points per game, excelled in the pre-draft process. The All-America selection was one of the top performers at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in April and also attended the NBA Draft Combine in May.

Taylor plans on watching the draft with family members in Lake County. He says that he wants to make sure that his family is included on this potentially special night.

"I have always wanted to play basketball for a living," Taylor said. "Now that it is almost here is mindblowing. I have put in a lot of hard work. Now the hard work is about to pay off. It is real exciting for me. I am excited for my family and friends."

The 2008-09 Conference USA Player of the Year is looking to become the second player in program history to be selected in the NBA Draft. Milwaukee picked Bennie Shaw in the ninth round of the 1976 draft. Ironically, Shaw was inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame this past spring.

During the pre-draft process, head coach Kirk Speraw has provided advice to Taylor, telling his former star shooting guard how to market himself to NBA coaches and general managers.

Taylor is thankful for the pointers.

"He told me what to expect. He has been giving me articles to read about players in the league and how to stay in the league and what to do with your money. He has helped me out a lot."

Most mock drafts have predicted Taylor getting picked sometime in the second round. He says that regardless of where he is selected, hearing his name called on draft night would achieve a major goal.

"This is what I have always dreamed about," he said. "I wanted to play in the league. Just to make it, I will be happy."

Season-ticket deposits for the 2009-10 UCF men's basketball campaign are currently being accepted. For more information, visit UCFAthletics.com or call (407) UCF-1000.

For the latest news on the Knights, log on to UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.

Notes: On Wednesday, former UCF assistant Steve DeMeo was introduced as the head coach at Newberry College in South Carolina. In his introductory press conference, DeMeo credited Speraw with helping him prepare for his new role. "(He) is one of the best coaches in the country. I really wished I could have spent another year with him, because I learned so much," DeMeo said... UCF sophomore guard Isaac Sosa (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) will be one of two Conference USA players competing at the FIBA U19 World Championship in New Zealand in early July. UTEP's Arnett Moultrie has made the United States squad.