Donte DiVincenzo denies rumor that he went out to lunch with Danny Ainge
Villanova Wildcats prospect Donte DiVincenzo has had to deal with his share of scrutiny since declaring for the NBA Draft. Whether it was his questionable tweets as a kid from Delaware or his decision to declare following a championship season, the 6-foot-5 spark plug has dealt with it all.
Yet some of the questions from the media have been enough to make him and others scratch his head, including a rumor that he and Boston Celtics president Danny Ainge had lunch together — one that if true, would consist of a tampering violation.
Asked of one of the dumbest thing he’s had to read about himself during the draft process, the NCAA champion didn’t hesitate to bring that up.
“I’d say the whole ‘Danny Ainge took me to lunch’ thing,” he said, according to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. “There was a lot of controversy over that. But we just talked like normal. We just did it in a different setting.”
Ainge is very much involved in meeting and interviewing prospects, and it’s no surprise that DiVincenzo — who registered the highest vertical leap, tied with Georgia Tech’s Josh Okogie — captured the executive’s attention.
Asked of his goal after reaching the NBA level, his response makes it clear why Ainge had such interest.
“I want to be known as the hardest working guy on the team my rookie year,” said Donte DiVincenzo.
The Villanova prospect is currently slate to be a late-round pick, going as high as the late teens in recent mock drafts.
He dropped a career-high 31-point game off the bench against the Michigan Wolverines in March’s championship game, going from a potential second-rounder to a sure-fire first-round selection due to his athleticism, playmaking, and an innate clutch gene, which he put on display at the biggest stage.