Wizards Pre-Draft Workouts: Solomon Alabi with jumpers from Nigeria | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Wizards Pre-Draft Workouts: Solomon Alabi with jumpers from Nigeria

Updated: June 21, 2010

On Monday, June 21, Solomon Alabi (C, Florida State, 7’1, 251 lbs.) worked out for the Washington Wizards along with Magnum Rolle (F/C, Louisiana Tech, 6’11, 225 lbs.), Devan Downey (G, South Carolina, 5’9, 175 lbs.), A.J. Ogilvy (C, Vanderbilt, 6’11, 250 lbs.), Samardo Samuels (F, Louisville, 6’9, 260 lbs.) and Bobby Maze (G, Tennessee, 6′3″, 195). Read about Alabi below…

Florida State’s Solomon Alabi has an NBA body, no question. Measuring 6’11.5″ without shoes and 237 lbs. with a 7’5″ wingspan, a 9’5″ standing reach and 5-percent body fat (tied for the 7th lowest measure in Chicago), it’s easy to see why Alabi has been present in the first round of most mock drafts (#26 – Slam, #19 – DraftExpress, #19 – ESPN/Chad Ford), despite being a relative newbie when it comes to the game of basketball.

Solomon tried playing soccer as a young boy in his home country of Nigeria, but says that his friends would make fun of him trying to play at his height. Among the other sports he grew up playing, tennis, volleyball, table-tennis, field hockey and handball, basketball became the obvious choice, especially when NBA scouts discovered Solomon and told him that he could potentially earn a scholarship playing college ball in the United States.

And that’s just what he did. Being exposed to competitive basketball for the first time at Montverde Academy in Florida, Alabi impressed enough to earn a scholarship to Florida State. But in his first season, he suffered from a stress fracture and was limited to just 10 games, forcing him to take a medical redshirt for the rest of the year.

He came back in 2008-09, appeared in 35 games, averaging 22.3 minutes per, and tallied 8.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.1 blocks (to just 1.9 fouls) with a PER of 21.1.

In 2009-10 Alabi upped those stats, averaging 25.6 minutes, 11.7 points, 53.4 FG%, 79.4 FT%, 6.2 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, 24.6 PER, 1.9 TOs, 0.5 assists and 2.3 fouls. Alabi left FSU as the first Seminole to lead the ACC in blocked shots in a single season and the ninth player in conference history to lead the league in blocked shots in consecutive seasons.

He’s been compared to Antonio McDyess, Hasheem Thabeet, and of course, Saer Sene and Boniface N’Dong. And they say white guys always get compared to other white guys all the time.

Maybe Alabi’s somewhere in between McDyess and Thabeet. He may be more known as a defensive player with limited post moves, the Thabeet part. But, and unless today’s workout was an extreme anomaly, Solomon has a decent mid-range jumper too, the McDyess part. His form could use some work, but his shot is fluid. And don’t forget that he sank almost 80-percent of his free-throws last season.

Again, these are just workouts, but Alabi handled Flip Saunders’ famed “7” Drill with ease. Well, except for when he tried to end the drill on three separate attempts from the college three-point line only to miss each time … much to the entertainment of the onlooking crowd. He still prevailed and hustled his way better through the drill than several of the other guys I’ve seen workout for the Wizards.

There’s a video of Alabi’s “7” Drill below as well as one of him knocking down jumpers with ease in a full court shooting drill.

Some profiles on Alabi express concerns about his past injuries but he indicates that he’s no longer experiencing pain and will continue to strengthen the knee and leg he’s had issues with.

Alabi would be a great pick for the Wizards, over the likes of Jarvis Varnado, Gani Lawal, Trevor Booker, Dexter Pittman, Derek Caracter and Jerome Jordan. Unfortunately, Alabi likely won’t be around when they next draft after John Wall at 30. Anyone want to trade or sell a pick?

Solomon Alabi and the “7” Drill

The “7″ Drill involves a player having to shoot jumpers from alternate elbows. The count starts at seven. If he makes a shot, the count goes down one. If he misses, he has to make a layup and the count goes up one. The drill is over when the count reaches zero. Also, between attempts from each elbow, the player must jog to the opposite sideline before moving to shoot from the other elbow.

Full court, six shot drill

Post-workout interview

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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.