WASHINGTON -- Every once in a while an NBA player comes along who not only makes the league, but thrives in it despite being well under six feet tall. And more often than not, those players seem to play for Washington.
Muggsy Bogues, just 5-foot-3, famously played for the Bullets with 7-foot-6 Manute Bol. Michael Adams (5-foot-10), Earl Boykins (5-foot-5) and Isaiah Thomas (5-foot-9) are all members of the club.
Draft prospect Markquis Nowell is now trying to be the NBA's next undersized point guard and on Saturday he worked out for the Wizards, all with an understanding of the footsteps he was walking in.
"It’s definitely a legacy left with undersized guards here. Muggsy, I speak to Muggsy occasionally. He’s just given me some insight on what it is to be a smaller guard, how to get to that next level," Nowell said.
Nowell is listed at 5-foot-7 and 155 pounds. That didn't prevent him from becoming an NCAA Tournament legend this past March by leading Kansas State University to the Elite Eight.
Nowell, 23, had an all-time game in the Sweet Sixteen, setting a tournament record with 19 assists against Michigan State. He hopes to continue dishing highlight reel assists throughout a long NBA career.
Bogues defied the odds decades ago, joining Washington as the 12th overall pick in 1987. Bogues would go on to play 14 years and with four different teams.
Nowell shared some of the advice Bogues has offered him.
"He gave me a couple things. The most important thing is just keep being a good person. Being a good person is so underrated and it can get you into a lot of doors. So, he was like just keep being a good person and keep doing what got you here because I made it thus far. Don’t try to be nothing I’m not and just continue to keep building and continue to keep growing," Nowell said.
Nowell is projected to be taken in the second round or go undrafted in the June 22 draft. The Wizards have two picks in the second round: 42nd and 57th overall.
If he doesn't get drafted by a team, Nowell could be an option for the Wizards on a two-way contract or to join their G League team, the Capital City Go-Go. Having a table-setting point guard is very valuable in the G League, as it helps other players on the roster develop with higher percentage shot attempts and a more sound offensive structure.
Nowell has been enduring some grueling travel in recent days as he chases after his NBA dream. He worked out in Utah on Friday before visiting Washington on Saturday. After that, he heads to Los Angeles to work out for the Clippers.
He is criss-crossing the country and taking measures to prevent injuries with the taxing schedule. But he wouldn't rather be anywhere else given it all could result in an NBA contract.
"At my size, it’s unlikely to be here. I’m just happy and blessed to be here," Nowell said.