Sensley gearing up for NBA Draft
The former UH star hopes the second time is the charm
Julian Sensley's first experience with the draft process was certainly brief, but long enough to prove educational.
Sensley was a teenager just out of high school when he entered the NBA Draft in 2002. He withdrew shortly after an eye-opening experience at the pre-draft camp, and following three seasons at the University of Hawaii the 6-foot-9 forward is focused on getting another shot at the pros, older and better prepared than when he first entered his name in the pool.
"The difference between 23 and 18 is huge," Sensley said in a phone interview from Los Angeles yesterday.
"I don't think I knew what it took (in 2002). At that time I thought I was going to be able to get in there because of who I was and the hype I had at the time. It's not that I wasn't working, I just wasn't as prepared as I should have been. Now all I do is basketball. I've definitely worked on my body and worked on the mind-set of getting where I need to be."
Sensley, an All-Western Athletic Conference pick last season, has been working out in Los Angeles for the last month and a half with hopes of hearing his name called during the NBA Draft.
Sensley was among the nation's most heralded talents coming out of high school, and is working to again generate some buzz in the weeks leading up to the June 28 draft in New York.
Sensley's agent, Jerome Stanley, arranged workouts with the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors. Sensley has another session scheduled with the Portland Trail Blazers this weekend, with Charlotte and New York possibly taking a look in the coming weeks.
"It's been good, everything's headed in the right direction, I think," Sensley said. "And I'm doing my part and what I can and trying to get my face and name out there.
"I had an all-right senior season, but I don't think it was enough to catch anybody's attention. Right now when I show up to these workouts I'm trying to stand out from everybody else."
Sensley said he probably won't know for a couple of weeks whether he'll be invited to the NBA's Pre-Draft Camp set for June 6-10 at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla. As an alternate, his participation will likely depend on other invitees pulling out of the camp.
So far, he's been pleased with his performances in the team workouts, playing alongside Illinois' Dee Brown and James Augustine, San Diego State's Marcus Slaughter, Georgetown's Brandon Bowman and Christian Maraker of Pacific.
Still, it's tough to gauge where he stands in the eyes of the scouts.
"Even if you go to a workout and kill at the workout, it's still way too early to figure it out, because (the teams) don't know," he said.
"That's the only thing -- you can do good and you have no idea."
While in Los Angeles, he's spent his mornings working on conditioning followed by drills in the gym. After a break in the afternoon, he hits the weights in the evening.
Sensley said before he even sees the court for the team workouts, the scouts measure everything from height and weight to ankle flexibility and bench press.
"It's all kind of crazy stuff," said Sensley. "It's weird, but they look at all that stuff."
Following a heralded prep career at Kalaheo and St. Thomas More (Conn.), Sensley signed with California out of high school but didn't meet entrance requirements. He later enrolled at Fresno State for a semester, but didn't play for the Bulldogs and declared himself eligible for the NBA Draft.
He attended the pre-draft camp in Chicago, which provided a dose of reality, and withdrew his name soon after, preserving his college eligibility. He ended up at Los Angeles City College and played the last three seasons at UH, winning the team's Most Outstanding Player award the last two years.
"This time is different," his mother, Susanne Karsten, said. "Last time, somebody talked him into it and I think all he did was go to the camp and he withdrew right after because he kind of realized he wasn't ready. This time it's all or nothing as far as the NBA is concerned."
While Sensley works to get the attention of NBA scouts, he may also have options overseas. His mother retained her German citizenship -- making Sensley eligible for a German passport -- and said she's been contacted by officials from the German national team hoping to get Sensley to play with the squad.