ATLANTA - Former Georgia State star basketball player D'Marcus Simonds did not get his first NBA workout off on the right foot.
"Literally ten minutes in," said Simonds with a sigh.
The Gainesville High School alum sprained his ankle early on during Friday morning's workout with the Atlanta Hawks, cutting his day short. It's a minor injury, and not enough to slow down the player who decided to leave Georgia State after his junior year and enter the NBA Draft.
"Talking to my family, my coaches, everyone, just kind of pushing me," said Simonds. "Like, 'it's time, it's time.'"
Simonds made his mark on the Panthers record books as an individual, and is proud to have helped the team make back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Tournament. There were questions about if he'd leave school in 2018 after being named Sun Belt Player of the Year as a sophomore, but he decided to return.
"Me not coming out my sophomore year didn't have anything to do with my basketball, my play," said Simonds. "It was that professionalism, that maturity level, like, was I ready to leave? I definitely am now."
Simonds said he's known for a while his junior year would be his last one with the Panthers; even as far back as last summer. His trademark confidence continues from Atlanta to whatever club he joins in the NBA.
"I think that I can make an impact with any team," said Simonds.
Though the Hawks didn't get to see much of him Friday, they're very familiar with what he could add to an NBA squad.
"Seen him play over the last few years being here in Atlanta," said Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk. "Extremely athletic kid, sneaky athlete. He can handle the ball, he can make plays and he can score."
The 2019 NBA Draft is in June 20th.