Former USC men’s basketball center Dewayne Dedmon has signed a partially guaranteed contract with the Golden State Warriors, according to USA Today.
Dedmon decided to forego his senior season and enter the NBA draft even after the arrival of new head coach Andy Enfield, whose high-speed offensive system could have capitalized upon Dedmon’s skill set.
In his junior season, the 7-footer averaged 6.7 points while leading the 14-18 Trojans with 7.0 rebounds per game, 2.1 blocks per game and 1.1 steals per game, impressive for a big man.
But foul trouble limited Dedmon’s effectiveness, as he committed the most personal fouls (93) of any Trojan last season while playing only 22.3 minutes per game.
Before Dedmon even stepped on the court for the Trojans, former USC coach Kevin O’Neill predicted the Lancaster, Calif. native would be a first-round pick in the NBA. That prediction didn’t prove true — Dedmon went undrafted in June’s NBA Draft after being ranked 74th among ESPN draft expert Chad Ford’s list of 2013 prospects.
Dedmon is considered to be extremely raw, especially on offense, as he didn’t begin to play organized basketball until he was 18 years old. He grew up a Jehovah’s Witness and obeyed his mother’s wishes that he focus on his religion rather than sports, despite his impressive height. He transferred to USC after playing one season at Antelope Valley College.
Though his ascent to the NBA is inspiring, it hasn’t always been smooth: Dedmon and backup center James Blasczyk were suspended from the team near the end of the 2012-13 season following an alleged fight in Spokane, Wash.
The Warriors burst into the spotlight during the 2013 NBA playoffs when they upset the Denver Nuggets in the first round before falling to the San Antonio Spurs in the conference semifinals. Dedmon will compete with players such as David Lee, Andrew Bogut, Jermaine O’Neal, Festus Ezeli and Marreese Speights for a spot in the frontcourt.