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Former Boise State forward James Webb III: doubters of pro decision ‘adds fuel to the fire’

Boise State forward James Webb III, right, laughs with guard Mikey Thompson during the Broncos’ 100-36 win over Willamette on Dec. 2, 2015 at Taco Bell Arena.
Boise State forward James Webb III, right, laughs with guard Mikey Thompson during the Broncos’ 100-36 win over Willamette on Dec. 2, 2015 at Taco Bell Arena.

James Webb III’s current situation is nothing new to him.

The now-former Boise State forward signed with an agent, Charles Briscoe, on Wednesday, ending his collegiate eligibility and allowing him to dive head-first into his hopes to become an NBA player.

Lightly recruited out of high school, Webb wound up at North Idaho College, where he played one season before transferring to Boise State before the 2013-14 season. He redshirted that year to get stronger and immerse himself in the Division I game. He played just 13 minutes the first five games in 2014-15 before putting up 12 points at North Carolina State. The rest is history, as he leaves having averaged 13.5 points and 8.6 rebounds per game in his two seasons.

Many mock drafts don’t have Webb being selected, most listing him just outside the 60-pick draft, but the 6-foot-9, 205-pounder is used to it.

“There’s always someone in this process that gets overlooked and shines when they get their opportunity,” Webb said Thursday. “It’s been that way for me since I started playing basketball, just adds fuel to the fire.”

Since declaring for the NBA Draft on March 27, Webb has worked out in Miami, focusing on expanding his game as a wing, improving his conditioning, his ball-handling and his jump shot. Thinking about how far he’s come in less than two years, potentially being drafted, Webb hasn’t given it much thought.

“It hasn’t happened yet, there’s still a long way to go, so I just have to only worry about getting better every day,” Webb said. “I think at the end of this process, it’ll end up being the best choice.”

Webb said he wanted to “just show teams and (general managers) that I’m fully committed, and the work I’ve been putting in, I’ve been seeing results.”

Only Roberto Bergersen (1999) has been selected by an NBA team out of Boise State since 1984. Webb hopes to buck the trend, and said his decision came not because of any specific reason, but a confidence that he should go pro.

“It was a gut instinct, when it’s time to move forward, you have to, and I figured it was the right time,” Webb said. “I love Boise, I called coach Rice right when I made my decision, thanked him for everything, Boise State gave me the opportunity to be where I am.”

Webb is hoping for an invitation to be among the 60 prospects invited to the NBA Combine from May 11-15, of which he likely will know if he made the cut early next month. The draft will be held June 23.

A few looks at where Webb is ranked among NBA hopefuls:

Draft Express: No. 83 overall prospect

ESPN’s Chad Ford: No. 71 overall prospect

NBADraft.net: No. 73 overall prospect

CBSSports.com: No. 87 overall prospect

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