Anthony Davis of the University of Kentucky was the first pick in the 2012 NBA Draft Thursday by the New Orleans Hornets. History was made when the Charlotte Bobcats chose Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with the second pick in the draft, as they became the first college teammates to go first and second in the NBA Draft. Davis will be joined in New Orleans by Austin Rivers from Duke University, the son of Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers, who was selected with the 10th overall pick.
“I’ve wanted this all my life, so it’s finally here. To be drafted #1 overall means a lot to me, for a 19-year old freshman, now professional. I just can’t wait to get down there and start to play,” Davis said after being selected. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist expressed excitement to “play for the Charlotte Bobcats” and also exclaimed that he “can’t wait to play with Kemba (Walker.)”
I had the opportunity to ask Austin Rivers about playing with Anthony Davis. “It’s amazing. Anthony is a great guy and obviously he is an unbelievable player. To get there and learn and go through this challenge we have ahead of us is pretty cool. We have been friends the past couple of years, so to be ready to take o this journey together is pretty cool and I’m looking forward to it.”
The University of Connecticut and Syracuse University out of the Big East Conference had four players combined picked in the first round. Andre Drummond was selected by the Detroit Pistons with the ninth pick overall, Jeremy Lamb was selected 12th overall by the Houston Rockets, both from UConn. Dion Waiters was selected with the fourth overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers and Fab Melo was selected 22nd by the Boston Celtics, both of the Orangemen.
Moe Harkless from St. John’s University in Queen, New York was selected with the 15th overall pick by the Philadelphia 76ers. “Going into the workouts, I showed teams how hard I work and how hard I compete. A lot of teams didn’t think I could shoot the ball and I showed the teams I could shoot the ball really well.” Harkless is the highest draft pick out of St. John’s since 1992, when the Indiana Pacers selected Malik Sealy with the 14th overall pick. Harkless is also the first player from the Red Storm to be drafted in 11 years, when Omar Cook was selected in the second round with the 31st overall pick.
Locally, the New York Knicks selected Kostas Papanikolaou from Greece with the 48th overall pick. The Brooklyn Nets purchased the rights to the 54th pick and Tornike Shengelia from the Republic of Georgia from the Philadelphia 76ers. The Brooklyn Nets also selected Ilkan Karaman from Turkey with the 57th overall pick. Both local teams have decided to go with foreign talent, and time will tell if any of the three players will be contributors on an NBA level.