Saturday, June 24, 2017

Four Bruins Selected in 2017 NBA Draft

Chosen by the Lakers, Ball became UCLA's highest NBA Draft selection since 1979.
Four former UCLA basketball players – Lonzo BallTJ LeafIke Anigbogu and Jonah Bolden – were selected in the 2017 NBA Draft on Thursday night, hosted at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Ball and Leaf, freshmen at UCLA in 2016-17, were each selected in the first round. Ball was chosen No. 2 overall by the Los Angeles Lakers, while Leaf was taken No. 18 by the Indiana Pacers. Ball became the highest selection by any UCLA player in the draft since 1979 (David Greenwood, No. 2 to the Chicago Bulls).
Bolden, who spent his first two collegiate seasons with UCLA before playing in Serbia last season, was taken No. 36 overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round.
Anigbogu, a freshman who excelled off the bench in 2016-17, rounded out the group of four Bruins on Thursday as the No. 47 overall selection by the Indiana Pacers in the second round.
UCLA has now produced 118 all-time NBA Draft picks, including nine selections in four seasons under head coach Steve Alford, who will enter his fifth year as UCLA's head coach in 2017-18. The Bruins have had at least one player chosen in 18 of the last 21 NBA Drafts (spanning 1997 through 2017).
This season's draft marked the first time since 1982 in which UCLA had at least four former players selected in the NBA Draft. For the second time in the last four drafts, the Bruins produced at least two first-round selections (UCLA had three first-round draft selections in 2014).
Ball, a 6-foot-6 guard from Chino Hills, Calif., became UCLA's first player selected in the draft by the Lakers since 2006, when Jordan Farmar was taken as the organization's No. 26 overall pick in the first round.
A consensus first-team All-America selection during his freshman season, Ball averaged 14.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and a nation-leading 7.6 assists per game in 2016-17. He scored in double figures in 31 of 36 games, establishing UCLA's single-season assists record (274) and finishing the year ranking second on the Pac-12's single-season assists list.
One of five finalists for the John R. Wooden Award, Ball secured first-team All-Pac-12 Conference honors. He was named the nation's Freshman of the Year by nearly every national publication.
Ball has become the sixth player from UCLA taken as a top-two selection in the NBA Draft. UCLA's previous No. 2 selections have included David Greenwood (1979, Chicago), David Meyers (1975, L.A. Lakers) and Sidney Wicks (1971, Portland). UCLA's Bill Walton (1974, Portland) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1969, Milwaukee) were each drafted No. 1 overall.
A 6-foot-10 forward from El Cajon, Calif., Leaf averaged a team-leading 16.3 points per game as a freshman in 2016-17. He was one of three UCLA players, along with Ball and Bryce Alford, to secure first-team All-Pac-12 honors.
One of five finalists for the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award, Leaf led UCLA with 11 double-doubles, finishing the season having averaged 8.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 blocks per game.
Leaf was one of three players in the Pac-12 to rank among the league's top 10 leaders in scoring and rebounding (along with Utah's Kyle Kuzma and Stanford's Reid Travis). Leaf finished second in the Pac-12 in overall field goal percentage (61.7%) and made nearly 47 percent of his three-point attempts (46.6%, 27 of 58). In all, he scored in double figures in 32 of 35 games.
Anigbogu averaged 4.7 points and 4.0 rebounds in 13.0 minutes per game as a freshman in 2016-17. He played in 29 of the Bruins' 36 games and ranked second on the team in blocks per game (1.2 bpg, 35 blocks). A 6-foot-10 forward/center from Corona, Calif., Anigbogu shot 56.4 percent from the field (57 for 101).
Along with Ball and Leaf, Anigbogu entered UCLA in the summer of 2016 as part of an incoming class that was ranked No. 4 in the nation by and No. 5 by Anigbogu emerged as a strong rim protector and defensive presence after missing UCLA's first four games and totaled at least one block in 19 of 29 contests.
Bolden spent two seasons at UCLA (2014-15, 2016-17), playing in 31 games as a sophomore in 2015-16. Bolden averaged 4.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game that season before choosing to play professionally in Europe last season.
While at UCLA, Bolden scored in double figures in five games and recorded at least 10 rebounds in three contests. He had a double-double (10 points, 11 rebounds) in a road win at Gonzaga on Dec. 12, 2015.
Looking ahead toward next season, UCLA's season ticket packages are now on sale, starting at less than $19 per game. To secure seats in Pauley Pavilion for the 2017-18 season, call (310) 206-5991 or visit

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