Arizona draft legacy still going strong - CBS 5 - KPHO

Arizona draft legacy still going strong

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Over the last two-and-a-half decades, NBA Draft night has been a night of celebration for members of the Arizona men's basketball program, as 36 UA players have heard their names called since 1988.

The Wildcats' 36 selections since 1988 are tied with Duke and Kentucky for the most in the nation over that span. Kansas has 33 selections in that time, while North Carolina and UCLA both have 31.

Solomon Hill became the 18th first-round pick in Arizona history on Thursday night when the Indiana Pacers made him the 23rd overall selection. The Los Angeles native was UA's fourth first-round pick since 2008.

Grant Jerrett became the third of Sean Miller's recruits to hear his name called on draft night when the Portland Trail Blazers selected him 40th overall. He was later dealt to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Arizona has had at least one player selected in 21 of the last 25 NBA Drafts, including 16 first-round choices and 11 lottery picks. Nine of UA's last 11 first-round selections have come in the lottery.

Recently, ESPN ranked Arizona sixth among all college programs in terms of producing top NBA talent over the last two-plus decades.

UA players have been far from content by just hearing their names called on draft night, however. As has been reported by various media outlets, the fraternity of Arizona's NBA players is nearing the collective $1 billion mark in career earnings, with the total haul set to exceed $960 million next season.

Collectively, the Wildcat players who have been drafted since 1988 are an accomplished group, having won 13 NBA championships and made six All-Star appearances. The group also boasts a Rookie of the Year (Damon Stoudamire), a Sixth Man of the Year (Jason Terry) and a Most Improved Player (Gilbert Arenas).  In total, UA has produced 65 NBA Draft picks since 1948.

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