Maalik Wayns never doubted his ability, but that doesn’t mean he was certain he would get an opportunity to live out his dream and play in the NBA.
That all changed Monday when Wayns’ hometown 76ers reportedly inked the former Villanova standout to a one-year deal.
“I’m still kind of dreaming,” Wayns told 97.5 The Fanatic’s Tom Byrne Monday night. “I’m from Philly, I’ve always loved Philly. I got to play at Nova, now the Sixers.”
Wayns left Nova after his junior season but went undrafted in June’s NBA draft. However, he impressed scouts enough while playing for the Magic’s summer league team, where he averaged 11.7 points and 5.7 assists, to be signed by the Sixers.
“I always had confidence in myself and confidence in my game,” Wayns told Byrne. “Once I got a chance to play in front of people, I knew I would prove myself. A lot of people were talking about me and saying I’m NBA ready, but I still have a lot of work to do.”
Wayns said if he had to do it over, he still would leave Nova after his junior season.
“Yeah, I think I still would do everything the same,” he said. (The Sixers) were one of the teams that liked me a lot. I knew they had interest in me but I never knew I would end up here.”
The Roman Catholic product said he’ll carry on the tradition of great Philly guards who have made the NBA, a list headed by Kobe Bryant but including countless others.
“We’re just gritty, have that underdog mentality. Philadelphia is an underdog city. We all play with that chip on our shoulders and feel like we have something to prove.
“…I have all the faith in the world. I’m more of a point guard than what I showed at Villanova. I can do whatever coach needs me to do. I can get people the ball, I can score, but I’m trying to take it all in and be humble and hungry.”
-Backdoor Cut is the official blog of Philahoops. Follow on Twitter: @BackdoorCutBlog