Kelly Oubre eyes lottery NBA Draft selection with 'favorite' Hornets

NBA Draft Basketball NBA

CHARLOTTE — Kelly Oubre didn’t know he was going to have an individual NBA Draft workout with the Hornets, but once he arrived at the gym, it felt like a game situation.

“All eyes are on me,” Oubre said Thursday morning inside the Hornets practice facility at Time Warner Cable Arena. “That felt good. I got to show out a little bit.

“When there are 50,000 people, all eyes are on you. They put the pressure on me and I stepped up to the plate. I was placed in this position and made the best of it.

“I was informed I was going to be the only one on the court, and I didn’t argue.”

MORE: Hornets get a Harrison twin swap for workout | Get to know the foreign prospects

Oubre grew up in New Orleans as a Hornets fan. After spending one season at Kansas, where he started 27 games to help the Jayhawks claim a regular-season Big 12 Cofnerence championship, he’s eager to begin his NBA career. And would love to do it wearing the same jersey he wore as a child — albeit in a different city and for a different iteration of the franchise.

“I take pride in this organization,” said Oubre, who also has workouts scheduled with the Pistons, Jazz and the Nuggets. “They were my favorite team, and now I’m here. It’s a blessing to be here.”

The Hornets have the No. 9 overall pick in the NBA Draft, which is June 25 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. They also have a desperate need for shooting, finishing last in the NBA by shooting 31.8 percent beyond the arc.

Oubre, a 6-7 swingman, was listed as a guard on a Hornets handout with Oubre’s bio.  

“I feel like my game is un

ique,” said Oubre, who averaged 9.3 points for the Jayhawks and was second on the team with 179 rebounds and 41 steals. “I can thrive at this level because of the open space and my length can cause trouble on the defensive end."

Oubre described himself as a “mature young individual” and said the decision to leave college wasn’t easy. But the 19-year-old leaned on advice from his family and friends, including former Jayhawks standout Andrew Wiggins, who also left Kansas after one season and was the NBA Rookie of the Year for the Timberwolves.

“I feel 100-percent strong going into this and I know I’m going to make a great career out of it,” Oubre said. “I have a lot of learning to do, and I’m willing to focus on basketball solely and dedicate myself to the game. I don’t have any distractions, so the game of basketball is everything to me and I’m committing the time to be the best player I can be.

“I showed them everything I can do and hopefully they’re pleased. This is an organization that I can see myself thriving in. I can come in immediately and make an impact.”