July 1, 2013
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By Doug Richards
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - After a weekend in Washington, D.C., playing alongside some of the top players in the country, Isaiah Sykes will return to Orlando Monday with confidence in his game that he plans to utilize during his senior campaign. The Detroit native was one of 19 college players who took part in the Kevin Durant Skills Academy, an annual event that includes some of the best wings in the nation.
For three days, Sykes worked on his individual skills during drills and also competed in 3-on-3 and 5-on-5 games.
Sykes, who averaged 16.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.3 steals in 2012-13, used the time in the nation's capital to work on his game and also show off his abilities to NBA scouts in attendance.
"It was a great experience. It was good to play against the best competition," he said. "To play against some of the best I can see that I can compete against them and play up to that level."
Participants in the academy included Marshall Henderson of Ole Miss, Alex Poythrees of Kentucky, Glenn Robinson III of Michigan, Jabari Parker of Duke and Geron Johnson of Memphis.
Durant was active over the weekend and Sykes says that he benefited from watching the Oklahoma City Thunder star go through drills. The UCF senior also had the chance to play with and against Durant in pickup games.
Five players who participated in the event in 2012, including Otto Porter of Georgetown, C.J. McCollumn of Lehigh, Tim Hardaway, Jr., of Michigan and Nate Wolters of South Dakota State, were selected in the NBA Draft last week.
Sykes, who considered leaving the Knights for the pros following last season, hopes that he joins that group. But before turning his attention to the next level, he can use the lessons learned from the academy with UCF this upcoming year.
"It showed me that as long as you work hard and go out and compete each day, you can play with anybody," Sykes said. "It motivates me to go even harder."