Former Kentucky guard Jodie Meeks returns to the Bluegrass State this weekend to stage several autograph sessions and, if he'd like, reflect on a solid start to his pro career.
Since being taken in the second round by the Milwaukee Bucks in June's NBA Draft, Meeks got acquainted with his new team's operation, led the franchise's Las Vegas Summer League entry in scoring, made the event's all-league team and signed a multi-year contract. The latter, which includes guaranteed money, seems significant given that second-round picks usually must first make the team to get a deal.
"I thought I had a great summer," said Meeks, his matter-of-fact tone in keeping with his inclination toward modesty.
Jeff Weltman, an assistant general manager for Milwaukee, declined to speak about specifics of Meeks' deal.
But, Weltman added, "We hope he's a Buck for a long time."
After a junior season in which he broke UK's 39-year-old single-game scoring record and set new scoring standards in two Southeastern Conference arenas, Meeks entered his name in the NBA Draft.
"I had no really high expectations," he said. "Just impress as many people as I could."
His plans changed as the workout process unfolded.
"I turned out playing really well," he said. "With each workout, I gained a lot of confidence."
A second-round pick might have been a letdown, but Meeks said he was more concerned with finding a "very good fit" rather than a particular position in the draft's pecking order.
He's liked the Bucks' operation. He returns to Milwaukee on Tuesday to begin looking for a home and resume workouts in preparation for pre-season training camp.
For the Las Vegas Summer League, Meeks sought to gain greater familiarity with Milwaukee's offensive and defensive systems.
He led the team in scoring (19.0 points per game) and shooting (55.7 percent from the field and 53.3 percent from the NBA's three-point distance).
Impressive numbers, but the competition was largely NBA rookies and one-year veterans.
"I don't want to get hung up on the significance of that," Weltman said of Meeks making the all-league team. "It's a nice little feather in the cap for his hard work."
Weltman noted how Meeks played well with fellow rookie Brandon Jennings, the point guard who famously played in Italy last season rather than try to gain eligibility for college.
Meanwhile, Meeks returns to Kentucky this weekend to sign autographs in Paintsville on Friday (Brown's Ford, 4:30-6 p.m.). Then he will be in Pikeville (Wal-Mart, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Pikeville High School, 6-7:30 p.m.) and Hindman (Sports Complex 2-3:30 p.m.) on Saturday. He will be in Lexington's Fayette Mall on Sunday at John Millards Art Gallery, 2-4 p.m.
Of the autograph sessions, Meeks said, "I want to show my appreciation for the fans."
Delph transfers to Asbury
Former Kentucky walk-on Adam Delph is transferring to Asbury College in Wilmore, the school announced Thursday.
Delph, a 6-foot-1 guard from Pleasure Ridge Park High School in Louisville, will have four seasons of eligibility at Asbury. He did not see action in his one season at UK under Billy Gillispie in 2008-09.
Delph announced earlier this month that he was leaving UK, which followed new coach John Calipari's statement that he would go with a much smaller roster than his predecessor. Gillispie's roster numbered 20 at one point last year. Calipari's will count 12 or 13.
"Adam will fit into our system extremely well," said Coach Will Shouse, who's NAIA squad finished 21-13 last season. "Our strength has always been our guard play, and he will contribute to that from day one."
Delph averaged 23 points per game as a senior at PRP.