Former SU guard Dion Waiters was picked fourth in the NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.
Jumping to the NBA after his sophomore season, Waiters won the Big East Sixth Man of the Year award in 2012 and scored 12.6 points per game for the Orange.
"It's heartwarming," Waiters told CNY Central. "All the hard work and dedication and sacrifice I put in, I'm just blessed to be in this situation."
While he was predicted to go anywhere from seventh to 13th, Waiters being picked fourth was a suprise to everyone, including himself. He says he never even spoke to the Cavs before they drafted him.
"I never even talked to Cleveland," he says. "That's why it's crazy to me, ya know, I haven't talked to anybody."
Waiters will join former Duke guard Kyrie Irving in the Cavs backcourt. Irving just finished up his rookie season as Cleveland's point guard.
In his time at Syracuse, Waiters had some well-publicized bouts with head coach Jim Boeheim, but that is something he says helped him mature.
"It helped me grow," he says. "It helped me grow as a person, off the court...not even on the court, just Coach Boeheim and the tough love he had for me."