Posted: Friday, June 23, 2017 – 10:32 AM
Markelle Fultz is a self-described hard worker and that diligence paid dividends Thursday as the Philadelphia 76ers made him the first overall pick in the 2017 NBA entry draft.
The 76ers acquired the top pick in a trade with the Boston Celtics a week ago, allowing them to move up and select the 19-year-old American.
“I figured out I had a chance to make it there (the NBA) probably in my 11th grade,” said Fultz, who played for the University of Washington Huskies last season. “I just realized that I was doing stuff that other kids weren’t doing and it just started to work out for me.”
The Los Angeles Lakers used the second pick to choose University of California at Los Angeles point guard Lonzo Ball.
The Lakers used their third straight number two pick on Ball.
Ball was projected to be picked by the Lakers’ new front office of Hall of Famer Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka.
Ball’s father, LaVar, put on his Lakers hat even before the pick became official.
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid fired the first salvo between the new-look 76ers and Lakers on Thursday night telling him teammate Simmons through social media to dunk on Ball.
“Please dunk on him so hard that his daddy runs on the court to save him,” Embiid tweeted in reference to Ball’s father, LaVar, who does most of the talking off the court for his son.
The Celtics used the third pick on Duke’s Jayson Tatum. The Suns picked fourth for the second straight year and selected Josh Jackson from Kansas. In his only season in college, Jackson averaged 16.3 points and 7.4 rebounds.
Sacramento was the only team with two lottery picks. The Kings’ first pick at number five was guard De’Aaron Fox of Kentucky and they selected Zach Collins of Gonzaga at No. 10 with the pick obtained from New Orleans for DeMarcus Cousins.
© Agence France-Presse