Former Hornet power forward participates in Sacramento Kings pre-draft workout

Joe Davis

Sacramento State men’s basketball senior John Dickson took another step on Saturday toward his childhood dream of playing in the NBA when he took part in the Sacramento Kings pre-draft workout. 

Dickson’s workout with the Kings was the second the 6-foot-6-inch forward participated in with the NBA franchise this month. 

After the workouts, Dickson said he had a chance to speak with new head coach Mike Malone and new general manager Pete D’Alessandro.

“I’m really long and they like my length,” Dickson said. “I shot the ball really well and I was explosive. The main thing they liked about me is my ability to guard multiple positions at the next level because of my agility and lateral quickness.”

Dickson is one of more than 20 prospects the Kings have worked out since pre-draft scouting began, leading up to the 2013 NBA Draft on June 27.

Dickson led the Hornets in scoring over the past two seasons with more than 12 points per game and was second on the team with 5.7 rebounds per game. 

Although Dickson credits his time at Sac State to helping him develop his physical ability on the court, he said Hornet head coach Brian Katz fixed his biggest drawback.

“(Katz) always told me I’m a good athlete and I’m really talented, but I was mentally weak,” Dickson said. “He kept pushing me and pushing me and now I can focus and things don’t really bother me.” 

Dickson said he was able to play through an inadvertent elbow that left him with a bloody mouth during a scrimmage against other draft prospects. 

With the positives Dickson displayed, he also noticed one weakness while playing against next-level talent.

“On the defensive side, I let a couple guys beat me to some rebounds I should have had,” Dickson said. “That just comes with getting strong and that’s where I need the most improvement is in the weight room and (improving) my strength.”

Dickson said he was able to show his physical gifts and display a vocal style of leadership.  He helped instruct and support some of the other players at the workout and he thinks those attributes helped him standout.

During the offseason, Dickson has been working out with Guss Armstead, who is known as the premier trainer for Sacramento sports. Armstead has been credited with training former NBA players Bobby Jackson and Kevin Ollie, as well as current NBA player Matt Barnes. 

Armstead heads a Sacramento professional developmental league and Dickson said his performance in the league opened the opportunity with the Kings.  

But the NBA is not Dickson’s only option. Three weeks after the season wrapped up in the spring, he signed with Scorers 1st Sports Management, which operates out of Germany. 

He said his agent Daniel Poerschke has already received multiple offers from teams in upper echelon European leagues and he could get the chance to play in Europe if the Kings fail to draft of sign him, but his ultimate goal would be to get to the NBA. 

If Dickson makes an NBA roster, he would become the first player from Sac State to make it to the pinnacle of professional basketball, which he hopes will elevate the awareness for quality Hornet athletes.

“We do have talented athletes that don’t get the exposure needed, and I just want to put our school’s name on the map,” Dickson said. 

Dickson does not have any more workouts schedule as of now, but said he will continue working out five hours a day in case a call comes.


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