Mo Bamba Selected Sixth Overall by the NBA’s Magic

Mo Bamba didn’t have to wait long on draft night for his name to be called at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. With the sixth pick in the first round, the Orlando Magic selected Texas’ standout freshman center.

“It means the world to me, to sit here and be drafted where I started everything,” Bamba said, immediately after his selection. Bamba was born in Manhattan’s Harlem neighborhood.

“They want me to contribute right away,” Bamba said of his new team. “I’m super fortunate to be heading down there. I’m super happy.”

Earlier in the week, rumors swirled that multiple teams were interested in trading up to grab the lengthy frontcourt player, whose 7-foot-10-inch wingspan registered as the longest in the history of the NBA combined. Instead, the seven-footer was there at six for Orlando. He’ll join Longhorn D.J. Augustin on the Magic roster.

Entering Texas before the 2017-18 season as ESPN’s No. 4 recruit in the nation, Bamba was stellar during his lone season in Austin. His 3.7 blocks per game ranked second in the nation, and first in the Big 12. Bamba also led the conference in rebounds per game (10.5) and double-doubles (15). His 111 blocks broke the single-season record set by Chris Owens in 2000-01. For his efforts, Bamba was named an Honorable All-American by the Associated Press, was one of the 15 players on the John Wooden Award ballot, and was a finalist for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award.

With Bamba’s selection, 44 Texas players have been drafted. Bamba is the eighth player selected in the draft lottery since its creation in 1985, and is the highest draft pick from Texas since the Cavaliers drafted Tristan Thompson fourth overall in 2011.

Image courtesy Texas Athletics.


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