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North Dakota State guard Ben Woodside goes undrafted

Ben Woodside

FARGO - Twenty-nine guards were picked in Thursday night's NBA draft. But North Dakota State's Ben Woodside was not one of them.

So the waiting game continues for Woodside, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound point guard who still garners hopes to fulfill his childhood dream of playing in the NBA by being picked up as a free agent.

"Sometimes, free agency is a good route to take for someone in my situation," Woodside said before the draft began. "Hopefully, we can latch onto a team that we like."

Mark Bartelstein, Woodside's agent, said earlier this week he expects a number of teams to offer Woodside a chance to play in their summer leagues. Depending on which team Woodside would sign with as a free agent, he would compete in NBA Summer Leagues in Orlando on July 6-10 or in Las Vegas on July 10-19.

The 23-year-old Woodside, who ended his NDSU career as the school's all-time leading scorer, surprised NBA scouts during workouts the last five weeks.

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An unknown out of Albert Lea (Minn.) High School, Woodside started making a name for himself this past season when he scored 60 points in one game, hit the game-winning shot in The Summit League tournament championship game before scoring 37 points in an NCAA tournament opening-round loss to defending national champion Kansas.

Woodside became one of 60 college seniors selected to compete in the Portsmouth (Va.) Invitational, where he was among the top third in scoring, averaging 11.3 points in three games. One day after graduating with a business management degree, Woodside flew to San Antonio for his first NBA tryout.

Since then, he has had tryouts in Detroit, Chicago, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Minneapolis, Denver, Salt Lake City, Sacramento and Portland.

Woodside would have become only the second NDSU player to be drafted. Lance Berwald, a 6-11 center, was a fifth-round pick by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1984.

If Woodside - The Summit League player of the year - earns a contract after summer league play, he could earn an NBA minimum annual salary of $457,588. George Hill of Indiana Purdue-Indianapolis, last year's Summit League player of the year, earned a salary of $838,500 after being drafted in the first round by the San Antonio Spurs.

Woodside averaged 23 points and 6 assists in senior season, helping the Bison to their first NCAA tournament in appearance in their first year of eligibility.

He set nine school records at NDSU (most points in one game 60, most free throws in one game 30, most free throws attempted in one game 35, most points in one season 766, most free throws in one season 231, most points in a career 2,315, most field goals attempted in a career 1,525, most free throws in a career 687, most free throws attempted in a career 834).