Sports: New Orleans Picks Davis as No. 1 NBA Rookie
Two Kentucky Wildcats freshmen were the top two picks of last Friday’s National Basketball Association Draft held at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey with New Orleans and Charlotte plucking the duo from a pool of talented amateur US college basketball players and other international aspirants.
After finishing the season with the third worst record, the Hornets selected the 19-year old (born March 11, 1993), 6-10 power forward out of Kentucky which won the 2012 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament over Kansas with Coach John Calipari at the helm of the Wildcats’ eighth NCAA title.
Davis was the consensus top rookie pick of Class 2012 as the Chicago-born amateur standout has among his credentials the 2012 National Player of the Year as well as Defensive Player of the Year awards by various sports organizations including the 2012 Freshman of the Year and NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors.
He is expected to lead the shorthanded Hornets come the 2012-13 NBA Season after struggling in the past campaign in the post-Chris Paul era. New Orleans also traded Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor for former Washington Wizards veteran Rashard Lewis prior to the NBA Rookie Draft.
Right now, head coach Monty Williams will have Davis, Lewis and Chris Kaman expected to man the frontline while guards Jarret Jack and Eric Gordon alternating with Marco Belinelli and Carl Landry in the backcourt.
The Hornets aso selected pointguard Austin Rivers of Duke with the No. 10 selection in the first round as well as Kentucky’s Darius Miller at No. 46 overall. The 6-5 Rivers is the son of Boston Celtics bench tactician, Doc Rivers.
Selecting at No. 2, the Charlotte Bobcats opted for Davis’ teammate, small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, an 18-year old (born September 26, 1993) wingman from Camden, New Jersey. The Michael Jordan-owned Bobcats, with new mentor Mike Dunlap set to call the shots vice Paul Silas, also chose Vanderbilt’s Jeffery Taylor at No. 31, the first pick of the second round.
Their 7-59 win-loss finish last season was an all-time NBA-worst, percentage-wise, and Jordan immediately pressed the panic button by firing Silas and opting to tap a high-caliber forward in Kidd-Gilchrist to ensure Charlotte would win games in the upcoming campaign.
Charlote will now have Kidd-Gilchrist and former Connecticut star guard Kemba Walker on top of the Bobcats’ offense while new addition Ben Gordon will definitely be of big help to the team when it comes to leadership on the floor. The 6-3 Gordon was acquired from Detroit in exchange forveteran Corey Maggette in the offseason.
Others selected in the Top 10 of Friday’s rookie draft were No. 3 Bradley Beal (Washington), No. 4 Dion Waiters of Syracuse (Cleveland), Kansas Jayhawks’ Thomas Robinson by Sacramento at No.5, Damian Lillard at No. 6 by Portland, Golden State’s Harrison Barnes as the seventh pick overall, Terrence Ross at No. 8 by Toronto, center Andre Drummond by Detroit at ninth and Rivers.
International players chosen were Canada’s Andrew Nicholson at No. 19 by Orlando, France’ Evan Fournier by Denver as the 20th pick, Brazil’s Fab Melo by Boston at No. 22, big man Festus Ezeli of Nigeria at No. 30 and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Robert Sacre (Gonzaga) of Canada as the last pick in the second round (No. 60).
Before I end, let me congratulate former Sangguniang Kabataan chairperson (Tangub) Jayson Olivar for having been elected as our class president (LO1-2nd year) at UNO-R’s School of Law as well as other officers namely yours truly as vice prexy, Jamie Geolingo-secretary, B-Jo Geopano-treasurer, Franz Villanueva-PIO, Reena Vidaurrazaga-auditor, Janelyn Jeroy-muse, Marcos Percival Cordero-escort, Gabriel Nessia and Josephine Ferrer-Bar Ops Committee representatives.*
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