Auburn’s 18-year NBA draft drought is officially no more.
Chuma Okeke was selected with the No. 16 pick of the 1st round to the Orlando Magic.
Okeke was arguably the Tigers’ best all-around player in his sophomore season, averaging 12 points and 6.8 rebounds, all while being a dominant and versatile force on the defensive end with 1.8 steals and 1.2 blocks per game.
The 6-foot-8, 230-pound forward was vital for Auburn during its late-season run that was cut short when he went down against North Carolina in the Sweet Sixteen. Okeke had 20 points and 11 rebounds when he tore his ACL.
Okeke was widely used as a rallying cry for the Auburn basketball program, using the phrase “Do it for Chuma.”
Despite the injury, Okeke had already made enough noise among NBA general managers and decided to declare for the NBA Draft.
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Okeke was scouted as a hustling defender who can offer versatility on both ends of the floor with his shooting and passing.
Okeke’s ability as a shooter projects well into the next level and adds some inside game to his resume as a good post scorer who can use his size to avoid getting trapped in a double team and use his passing vision to find the open man.
His ability to switch on the defensive end is his biggest strength, along with his alertness as an off-ball defender who can deflect passes with quick hands and reflexes.
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