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Kevin Schnepf, Published May 15 2009

Nerves for the Spurs: Busy weekend will lead to Woodside's NBA tryout with San Antonio

Working out the last 10 days in Chicago, Ben Woodside has grown to appreciate his downtown apartment view of Lake Michigan.

“The workouts are definitely intense,” said Woodside, North Dakota State’s All-American basketball player who is preparing for his first NBA tryout on Monday. “I believe that I’m in the best shape of my life right now.”

After he graduates from NDSU on Saturday and moves out of his Fargo apartment, Woodside hops on a plane Sunday to San Antonio – where the Spurs’ coaching staff will interview him that afternoon before his on-the-court tryout Monday.

It’s the first of many NBA tryouts for Woodside – who ended his Bison career this spring as NDSU’s all-time leading scorer.

His 23.2-point scoring average, including a 37-point outburst against Kansas in an NCAA tournament opening-round game, elevated his stock among NBA scouts.

Mark Bartelstein, Woodside’s agent who is based in Chicago, said Woodside will try out for at least five teams June 2 or 3 in Minneapolis. The teams include Minnesota, Memphis, Houston, Indiana and Portland.

Bartlestein also said Woodside will tryout for the Chicago Bulls on June 8. Bartelstein said he plans to schedule more tryouts after that.

“Right now, I’m a deer in the headlights,” said Woodside, who really doesn’t know what to expect in his first tryout at San Antonio. “I’m anxious to see what it’s like. I’m pretty excited.”

Woodside, who admits he likes watching the Spurs on TV, has been working out the last 10 days with five other players at the Fitness Center in downtown Chicago. His roommate is a Bartelstein client from Australia.

“I’ve been on the court for a number of hours each day … you definitely get a good sweat going,” Woodside said. “Right now, I feel confident and I feel good.”


Readers can reach Forum reporter Kevin Schnepf at (701) 241-5549

Schnepf’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com