Two UT Basketball Players Picked Up In Historic First Round Of NBA Draft

New reasons to tune into the New Jersey Nets and the Boston Celtics: to see your favorite Longhorns.

For the first time in 20 years (and only the second time ever), two former UT players were picked up in the first round of the NBA draft, which took place at Madison Square Garden last night.

Avery Bradley was the No. 19 pick of the Celtics. Damion James was the No. 24 pick of the Atlanta Hawks (though his rights were later traded to New Jersey). And their teammate, Dexter Pittman, was taken in the draft’s second round, as the No. 32 pick of the Miami Heat.

Coach Rick Barnes praised in particular Avery’s work ethic, James’ loyalty, and Pittman’s effort-filled physical evolution from freshman to senior.

Thursday marked “an outstanding night for our program,” Barnes said. “To have three players selected in one draft is very impressive. We’re happy for all three guys and their families. Obviously all of them had dreams of playing in the NBA long before they came to The University of Texas, and now they can begin to realize those dreams.”

There are a series of interesting stats about these picks, including these:

*UT has produced four Top 10 picks during the past seven years (tying with Connecticut during that period).

*Bradley and James were the sixth and seventh players to be taken up in the first round of the draft during the Rick Barnes era.

*Bradley, James, and Pittman bring the total number of UT players drafted since the NBA draft was initiated in 1947 to 39.

Let’s keep these impressive numbers going!

Pictured from left: Avery Bradley, Damion James, and Dexter Pittman. Courtesy of UT Athletics.



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