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Shavar Newkirk believes he’s ready to play professional basketball. — SUBMITTED PHOTO

This is a busy time for many NBA prospects. The NBA Draft is June 21 and many of them are getting ready for NBA workouts. Former Saint Joseph’s basketball star Shavar Newkirk is one of them. Newkirk, a 6-foot, 185-pound guard, has been spending a lot of time in the gym in getting in top condition and polishing his basketball skills.

“Right now, I’m working out two or three times a day,” Newkirk said. “I’m mostly working on getting my jump shot to the point where every time I shoot it’s 8-out of-10 [shots]. I’m working on my ball handling. I’m also learning how to do pick and rolls, different scenarios when I come off the pick and roll how I got to it. I’m working on my body, balance, agility, movement and flexibility. My agent is setting up visits with the NBA teams.”

Newkirk is coming off a great season with the Hawks. He averaged 17.4 points and 3.9 assists a game. Newkirk had a terrific senior year after battling back from an ACL injury that sidelined him for a good part of his junior year.

His efforts were certainly noted in receiving some postseason honors. He was named to the Atlantic 10 all-conference second team and All-Big 5 second team.

Saint Joseph’s seems to be well represented in the NBA with Langston Galloway (Detroit Pistons), DeAndre’ Bembry (Atlanta Hawks) and Jameer Nelson (Detroit Pistons), who is now a free agent seeking a 15th season in the NBA. Nelson and Bembry were first round picks. Galloway was an undrafted free agent who has done well in the league.

If Newkirk isn’t selected in the NBA Draft, he would be happy to receive an invitation from an NBA team to play in one of the summer leagues. Three weeks ago, Newkirk graduated from Saint Joseph’s with a degree in sports marketing, which is a great achievement.

“That’s a big accomplishment,” Newkirk said. “That was for my family. One of my goals going to college was to get a degree. Education means a lot. I know basketball opens up for other things. I want to use basketball to the best of my ability where I can help my family.”

dhunt@phillytrib.com (215) 893-5719

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