Omar Samhan is most personable player in the draft. Having only met five potential draftees (I left before Hamady N’Diaye interviewed), I’m more than confident saying this. The kid can hold a crowd.
The best part about Samhan is that he comes across as genuine … or charming without arrogance. He took time to shake hands with each member of the media after his post-workout interview today, but didn’t come off contrived like a politician.
He sort of reminds me of Gilbert Arenas, whom Omar compares himself to at one point (“in some ways,” he says), but slightly more aware of the impression he makes. He’s glad to be candid, but he’s not a loose cannon. Surely some of this refinement comes from the fact that Samhan majored in sports journalism.
“As an athlete, it’s your job to entertain. It’s your job to bring the people in and be close with the community,” said Samhan when I asked him about the precautions he takes when it comes to his social media presence. But he also understands that it’s a fine line and that he needs to be careful, lest what he says might come back to haunt him.
Samhan will, however, leave D.C. disappointed. Even though he was recognized by strangers at the Verizon Center Chipotle, he was unable to procure a game of hoops with President Barack Obama while in town. “Barack, if you’re out there, I’m looking for that one-on-one game still,” Samhan proclaimed toward the end of his interview. He did say the highlight of his day was catching a lob from Sam Cassell, maybe that will have to serve as the next best thing.
He’s got a long way to go before making it to the league, most think he will be playing overseas next year. Hopefully he’ll find a way to stay stateside (perhaps in the NBDL if the NBA is initially a no-go) where his personality will get more exposure. Samhan has an upcoming workout with the Detroit Pistons and is set to graduate from Saint Mary’s on May 22 before continuing workouts with other teams.
Without further ado, below is Omar Samhan’s post-workout interview. I was going to clump him in with the others, but he deserves his own clip. Interviews of the remaining players (Damian Hollis, Dominique Jones, Landon Milbourne and Donald Sloan) will be posted later.