George's Dream Comes True

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    By Stephen Trembley / Fresno State Athletics Communications

    Paul George has been dreaming of this moment since he first picked up a basketball.  When his name was called earlier tonight as the 10th pick in tonight's 2010 NBA Draft, the beginning of the next stage of his life officially started.

    The journey to arrive at this opportunity began in Palmdale, Calif. where Paul learned the game by tapping into his natural talent and unmatched drive to compete at the highest level.

    As a spring signee in April 2008, the Bulldogs' head coach Steve Cleveland knew he had secured a gem.

    "Paul is versatile and very long," Cleveland said at the time of George's signing to an Athletic Aid Agreement. "He has the ability to play multiple positions. He can rebound and shoot the three. He has a huge upside because of his length and size."

    The versatility and length allowed Paul to primarily play the '3' guard position, along with time as a shooting guard, point guard and power forward during his two years in a Bulldog uniform.

    While never shy about his potential, Paul's confidence, production and vision allowed him to step into a leadership role as an underclassman destined for greatness.

    Each individual's path to Madison Square Garden as one of only 15 invitees to an exclusive green room for an NBA Draft includes a unique collection of defining moments.  The list of three of those below by PG (Paul's nickname) is just a snapshot of some of his memories.

    Breakout Performance: November 17, 2008 - With the 'Dogs locked in a late night battle, Paul silenced a raucous Saint Mary's home crowd with a thunderous one-handed slam dunk on two Gael defenders right around midnight.  The points highlighted his 25-point performance on national television in his second Division 1 game.

    Best Half: January 2, 2010 - Paul sparked the Bulldogs' comeback victory over Boise State with 15 second-half points, including a pair of old-school three-point plays in the final minute of the game, to erase an eight-point halftime deficit to win 71-68 to start conference play.

    Best Game: February 11, 2010 - While Paul produced his share of great performances, the night he joined Fresno State's 30-point club separated itself from the pack for more than just the scoring, but the circumstances.  After severely spraining his right ankle three weeks earlier against Utah State, Paul benefited from trainer Brad Floy's rehabilitation program to deliver his highest point total as a Bulldog and soundly defeat eventual WAC champion New Mexico State by 19 points.

    Stephen Trembley is a staff member for Fresno State Athletics Communications.  He can be reached at strembley@csufresno.edu.

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