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Bennett still in shock over number one overall selection

TSN.ca Staff

7/3/2013 4:46:12 PM

Nearly one week after making history, Anthony Bennett said the fact he was selected first overall in the NBA Draft has yet to set in.

Speaking Wednesday afternoon on The Bryan Hayes Show, the 20-year-old said it may finally hit him once he leaves his native Brampton and heads back to Cleveland on Thursday.

"It's an honour, it means a lot," Bennett said of being the first Canadian selected number one overall in the NBA. "I'm just trying to represent my country well. All the hard work has paid off."

The former UNLV freshman said he was "shocked, happy (and) excited" when he was the first name out of commissioner David Stern's mouth.

Bennett said he was excited about going to the Cavaliers and spoke with fellow Brampton product Tristan Thompson prior to the draft and joked, "I'm going to see him a lot more now."

Described by scouts and evaluators as an athletic, versatile player with the ability to both finish inside and shoot from the perimeter, reports suggested he could slide to as far as the number eight slot, but as Cavs general manager Chris Grant pointed out following the draft, his talent, work ethic and personality were just too good to pass up.

"I heard that the term 'power three' describes me, but I'm basically just a basketball player and anything the coaches tell me to do, I'll do," Bennett said when asked to describe his game. "Anything I have to do to make the team win, I'll do it."

Listed at 6-foot-8 and 240 pounds, Bennett says concerns over his defensive shortcomings may be premature.

"Everybody says my defence, but I feel like I did pretty well," he said, noting he was a solid shot blocker and contributed with steals and rebounding while with the Running Rebels.

Being one of two Canadians selected in the first round, along with Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk, Bennett said the opportunity to play for the Canadian national team is something he would welcome.

"It's something that I've done in the past," Bennett said. "(We) won bronze medals both times…bringing back a medal to the country was an honour and I'll try to do that again."