Neemias Queta Impresses At NBA Draft Combine

Jun 24, 2021, 6:34 PM
Utah State Center Neemias Queta (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)...
Utah State Center Neemias Queta (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah State product Neemias Queta has been one of the breakout names during the opening days of the NBA draft combine.

The former Aggies big man turned heads on Wednesday during the anthrometric testing, measuring in as the tallest player at the combine at 7’0.5 in shoes, while owning the longest wingspan at 7’4, and highest standing reach at 9’4.5.

“I got lucky,” Queta joked about his size. “My parents gave me the good genes.”

On Thursday, he followed his strong measurements with an impressive performance during the combine scrimmage. Queta scored 15 points for his team on 6-9 shooting, while grabbing eight rebounds, and recording a block and a steal in 20 minutes. Queta’s team easily beat their opponent 94-54.

The combine standout spoke about his performance after his first scrimmage.

“I just feel a lot more confident in my game and my skill set,” Queta said. “I feel a lot more confident in my body, I feel like I’ve evolved into an NBA player.”

Queta first declared for the NBA draft after his standout freshman year at Utah State, but struggled in the combine and opted to return to college. After an up and down sophomore season, Queta once again dominated as a junior, earning the Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year Award, and decided to skip his final season of college for a chance in the pros.

“I just wanted to move better, move more fluidly on the floor and just work,” Queta said of the progress he’s made since leaving Utah State. “I worked a lot on my jump shot, even though I didn’t showcase it today. I just wanted to go out there and show my versatility today.”

Queta has been projected anywhere from a second-round draft pick, up to the early 20s in some mock drafts. With a strong performance at the combine, the Utah State product may have worked his way into a longer guaranteed contract at the end of the first round.

While at the combine, Queta said he’s talked to the Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, and will plan additional workouts after this weekend’s events. Queta worked out for the Utah Jazz in 2019 before pulling his name from the draft.

Before adding additional meetings to his workload, the center said teams have asked him to go out at the combine and show a lot of the same things he did while playing in Logan.

“Teams told me to go out there and just play really hard,” Queta said. “Play really hard on the defensive end of the floor, try to impact as many as many shots as I can in the paint, rebound really well, and finish around the rim.”

Though it remains early in the draft process, Queta has proven to be one of the big winners at the NBA combine and may have worked his way into a first-round draft selection.

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