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Providence's Ledo eyes tonight's NBA Draft

June 26, 2013

Ricky Ledo

Seth Cohen is proud of the business-like fashion that his client conducted himself in during arguably the most important stretch of basketball in his young life.

Now that Ricky Ledo’s vagabond pre-draft tour of NBA cities has come to an end, the Providence native and former Providence College redshirt product can earnestly set his sights on an event that’s been on his radar screen for quite some time – the 2013 NBA Draft. Come Thursday night, Ledo will be seated inside Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, hoping that the long and sometimes winding road he’s traveled results in a chance to apply a crease to the cap of the team that calls his name.

“We’re excited about Ricky’s future in the league,” said Cohen upon being reached earlier this week. “He’s met every challenge head on and he’s a real warrior. Ricky traveled across the country and I venture to say that he had more workouts than anyone in the draft.

“It’s been a busy six weeks,” the agent for Ledo continued. “Let the chips fall where they may on Thursday.”

Ledo ended up working out for 17 NBA clubs, the list including the Boston Celtics. Asked if such a high total provides a paper trail that could ultimately lead to a first-round selection, Cohen answered, “Ricky is the most intriguing kid in the draft because of the fact that he had no college film.”

The feedback Cohen has received on Ledo’s behalf was “great” and only heightens the anticipation that the next chapter of his hoops odyssey will be written come Thursday.

“He has great offensive talent and his upside potential is tremendous,” said Cohen about the refrain that has served as Ledo’s calling card throughout this entire “show us what you can do” process.

Asked if there’s a contingency plan in place in the event Ledo is not one of the 60 players selected during the NBA’s annual two-round amateur event, Cohen responded, “We have a plan, but we’re very optimistic going into Thursday.”

ESPN.com’s draft tracker has Ledo listed as a 6-foot-6, 197-pound shooting guard. In two separate mock drafts posted on cbssports.com, one has Ledo going to the Indiana Pacers with the 23rd overall pick while the second has Oklahoma City taking him at No. 29.
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In one regard, the selection of Val Ackerman as commissioner of the newly revamped Big East Conference makes perfect sense. Ackerman was on the ground floor when the WNBA sprung into existence in the late 90s, the New Jersey native serving as league president for eight years. Her start-up experience figures to serve as a valuable asset to what PC President Rev. Brian J. Shanley refers to as a “rebooted Big East.”

Ackerman was formally introduced Wednesday as the conference’s new leader. During a conference call that included herself, Shanley and Georgetown President John J. DeGioia, Ackerman made it clear that a 10-team league that includes Big East holdovers Providence, DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, St. John’s, Villanova and Seton Hall coupled with new members Butler, Creighton and Xavier is perfect numbers-wise for the time being.

“Right now we love 10. We have no immediate plans to go beyond that,” Ackerman stated. “Expansion is not on our radar.”

The 53-year-old Ackerman plans to visit each member school in to order to establish relationships with the appropriate people. Besides building a staff, there’s also the task of completing the schedules for the winter teams. Ackermen mentioned that Dan Beebe, who served as a consultant during the search to find a commissioner, was able to take care of the fall sports’ schedules.

Ackerman’s vast expertise in the basketball arena runs deep and includes posts with the NBA and USA Basketball. She has most recently served as a consultant to the NCAA, for which she completed a comprehensive analysis on the state of women’s college basketball. The University of Virginia graduate is also an adjunct professor at Columbia University.

“Val’s résumé speaks for itself. She has a passion for the game of basketball that would do Dave Gavitt proud,” Shanley pointed out. “She is exactly what the Big East needs. She embodies the highest personal and professional values of the sports industry, and is a hard-charging and innovative leader who can shepherd the conference to continued success.”

Follow Brendan McGair on Twitter @BWMcGair03

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