Palmyra-native Aamir Simms ready for NBA Draft

Clemson forward Aamir Simms (25) reacts after the Tigers 77-62 win over Pitt on Senior Day...
Clemson forward Aamir Simms (25) reacts after the Tigers 77-62 win over Pitt on Senior Day Saturday, March 6, 2021 at Clemson's Littlejohn Coliseum. Bart Boatwright/The Clemson Insider(BART BOATWRIGHT | ACC)
Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 9:25 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The NBA Draft is scheduled to take place on Thursday night, and Palmyra-native Aamir Simms is hoping to hear his name called.

Simms says for him, the dream of playing in the NBA didn’t begin until he was a junior or senior in high school, and it wasn’t until midway through his college career that he realized it could be more than just a dream.

The Clemson-graduate played four years in the ACC, and he’s ready to take the next step.

Simms says he’s reaching the NBA level at just the right time.

“I saw the way I played, and the way the game was changing, and it fit right,” says Simms. “All the stars aligned for me to feel that.”

Rather than players locked into positions, One through Five, teams in the NBA are moving towards small-ball, or positionless basketball.

The 6-foot-8 Simms led Clemson in points, rebounds, assists, and blocks the last two seasons, while mostly playing in the middle.

Simms says, “Having that sense, and that feel, for playing small-ball five is huge in the NBA, and that’s what it’s transitioning to. You got guys who are 6′5” playing the five-man, so I definitely think it helps. My shooting, passing, and IQ can definitely transition to the next level, and I think I fit in just fine, with my skillset.”

Simms and Mamadi Diakite played together for two seasons at Blue Ridge, and they squared off on the court for three years in the ACC.

Sims says his former teammate has been a big help with preparation.

“Mamadi has done a great job being a mentor,” says Simms. “He’s always done that, since we were in high school, and throughout college, even in the middle of a game. We’ve definitely talked a little bit. He’s given me some pointers with the interviews, and when I go into workouts, the mentality I need to have, and everything and above. Mamadi has been pretty good in this process.”

Aamir Simms won the Skip Prosser Award as the top scholar-athlete in the ACC this season.

Whether he hears his name called on draft night, or get a call as an undrafted free agent, the Palmyra-native says he’s enjoying being a role model in his hometown.

“It would be huge,” says Simms. “A dream come true. That’s a moment you think about as a kid, the moment you start to pick up a ball, and start to understand how basketball works. That would be huge for myself, and my family, and everybody else watching. There’s little kids in Fluvanna that I even mentored, I know they’re watching my every move and every step. For guys and girls to see that in Fluvanna is huge, being a guy to really get out there, and make that first step, and that leap into the world. It would be huge. A dream come true, and just really important for me and my family.”

Aamir Simms says teams have been talking about him as a second round pick.

The NBA Draft is scheduled to take place on Thursday at 8 PM.

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