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UND's Quinton Hooker happy with Houston Rockets workout

Quinton Hooker, one of the best men's basketball players in UND history, took the first step in his professional career this week.

On Tuesday, Hooker worked out with the NBA's Houston Rockets—the 6-foot point guard's first NBA workout.

"I thought it went really well," Hooker said Wednesday as he traveled from Minneapolis back to Grand Forks to workout with UND's coaching staff. "It being my first one, I was a little anxious and nervous. But I knew I had a lot of people supporting me, sending me prayers. I went into the workout trying to focus on controlling the things I could control, and I thought I did really well."

Hooker said he was one of six players the Rockets worked out. He was joined by Paris Lee of Illinois State, Jajuan Johnson of Marquette, Kavin Gilder-Tilbury of Texas State, Kennedy Meeks of North Carolina and 7-foot-6 Tacko Fall of Central Florida.

Hooker said the first hour of his workout consisted of physical tests and agility drills, followed by shooting drills and skill development. The second and final hour was competition featuring 1-on-1 and 3-on-3 battles.

Hooker said he received a text message from his agent last weekend to say he was going to Houston for a workout two days later.

"I was caught off guard a little bit," he said. "My agent hadn't said anything about the Rockets' interest. I was anticipating at least one (NBA tryout). But for the last month, I've just been waiting. It was definitely a humbling experience to get that first one and show my talents."

The 2017 NBA draft is June 22, in Brooklyn, N.Y. Hooker isn't likely to be drafted, but he's hoping to generate some interest for NBA minicamps and Summer League.

"Right now my main focus is to get myself in the best conditioning shape I can and stay on top of my game to be ready for any call I might get," Hooker said. "There's a lot up in the air and nothing guaranteed. If nothing works out with the NBA, I'll definitely go over to Europe. It's really a win-win situation."

Hooker, UND's sixth-highest scorer in UND basketball history, led UND to its first NCAA tournament and scored 25 points in the Fighting Hawks' first-round loss to No. 2 Arizona last March.

Hooker was a first team all-Big Sky performer as a junior and senior. As a senior, he averaged 19.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists in leading the Fighting Hawks to a Division I program record 22 wins.

Tom Miller

Miller has been with the Grand Forks Herald sports department for the past 13 years. He's also a Grand Forks native and UND graduate. 

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