Draft Selection ‘Surreal’ For Marble

By Scott Dochterman, The Gazette

A usually stoic Devyn Marble admitted he lost his composure when he received the call, the one that made all his dreams come true.

Marble, a former Iowa men’s basketball player, was drafted by the Orlando Magic — via trade from the Denver Nuggets — with the 56th pick late Thursday night. He heard the news from his agent, former Iowa star B.J. Armstrong, then from Magic officials.

“It was very emotional, and I’m not even an emotional guy,” Marble said. “I was happy to come this far. So much hard work was put into it. I don’t think people truly understand how hard I had to work to get where I’m at today. I think all that poured out all at once. I’m blessed to be in this position.”

Marble hosted a small draft party of about 25 at a sports bar in his hometown of Southfield, Mich. He was joined by his father, Roy Marble, who was a 1989 first-round draft pick of the Atlanta Hawks. His family and friends, Iowa’s full coaching staff and former teammates Melsahn Basabe and Anthony Clemmons also attended the draft party.

At times the evening became frustrating, and Marble wondered if he would get selected.

“It would be naive to say that I didn’t think either way,” Marble said. “I was pretty confident I was going to get picked because I knew there were some teams coming up that I had worked out for and were genuinely interested in me. We thought I’d go higher but as the clock was winding down and the picks were getting shorter and shorter, you’re just sitting there thinking, ‘What’s going on?’ But like I said, I’m just happy I did get picked by a great organization with a great chance to be on a roster come this fall.”

A first-team all-Big Ten guard, Marble averaged 18.3 points in Big Ten play. He scored in double digits in 17 of 18 league games and is the first Big Ten player in 26 years to end his career with more than 1,650 points, 375 assists, 450 rebounds and 175 steals. Marble, 21, ended his Iowa career with 1,694 points, finishing fifth all-time.

Marble did not work out for the Magic because Orlando had only a pair of first-round picks at No. 4 and 12 entering the draft. He instead focused on teams that were more in line with his expectations, which were late first round to mid-second round. But Orlando was interested in Marble and maneuvered back in the draft to pick him.

“It was surreal,” he said. “At first I was just happy, blessed to have been taken off the board. I think the Orlando Magic is a great organization for me. They’ve got some young guys with talent. I think it’s a good spot for me, to be honest.”

He’s projected as a wing player and likely will come off the bench. The Magic picked Arizona power forward Aaron Gordon with their first pick and then tabbed Louisiana-Lafayette point guard Elfrid Payton through a trade. Orlando has two former Big Ten guards in Victor Oladipo (Indiana) and E’Twaun Moore (Purdue).

Orlando acquired the pick along with Evan Fournier by trading leading scorer Arron Afflalo to Denver. The Magic was last in the NBA’s Southeast Division with a 23-59 record.

l Comments: (319) 339-3169; scott.dochterman@sourcemedia.net

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