LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — The University of Kentucky basketball program extended its streak of producing a first round pick in the NBA Draft to 12 years Thursday night when forward Isaiah Jackson was taken with the No. 22 overall pick.
Although he was selected by the Lakers, Los Angeles made the pick for the Washington Wizards, who quickly traded Jackson to the Indiana Pacers, according to Shams Charania of TheAthletic.
Wizards send No. 22 (Isaiah Jackson) to Indiana for Aaron Holiday, sources said. https://t.co/AL16Q42AFN— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 30, 2021
The second local player called was University of Louisville and Trinity High School guard David Johnson, who was taken No. 47 by Toronto. Four picks later Kentucky's B.J. Boston was drafted by New Orleans but traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. Boston finished his high school career at Sierra Canyon High School in suburban Los Angeles.
Western Kentucky center Charles Bassey went 53rd to the Philadelphia Sixers. Bassey averaged 17.6 points and 11.6 rebounds during his third season for the Hilltoppers.
Jackson is the 31st Kentucky played coached by John Calipari taken in the first round since 2010, when five Wildcats (including John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins) were taken in the round one.
In the most poignant Draft moment, NBA commissioner Adam Silver honored Kentucky guard Terrence Clarke after the 14th selection by announcing the league drafted him.
Clarke, 19, died in an automobile accident in Los Angeles on April 22. Clarke was living in L.A. to begin preparations for the Draft. He declared for the NBA after his freshman season. Clarke’s mother, Osmine, along with two of his siblings, were introduced to the crowd at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
At 6 feet, 10 inches and 206 pounds, Jackson averaged 8.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.6 blocks for the Wildcats. Jackson finished the season strong, averaging 13.3 points over UK’s final 7 games.
Let’s go Indiana let’s get to work💙💛— Isaiah Jackson🌴Black Chaldean👳🏽♂️ (@IJackson22) July 30, 2021
Johnson averaged 12.6 points and 5.8 rebounds for the Cards, making 38.6 percent of his 3-point shots.
Boston averaged 11.5 points in his only season at Kentucky after arriving the No. 5 recruit in the nation. But he made less than 36 percent of his shots and struggled on defense, sliding 21 spots out of the first round.
Cade Cunningham, a UK recruit who excelled at Oklahoma State last season as a freshman, was taken first overall by the Detroit Pistons.
Four of the first five picks were college freshmen, continuing the trend of the last decade. But two of the first seven picks were products of the NBA’s G-League — Jalen Green, taken second by Houston and Jonathan Kuminga, who went No. 7 to Golden State.
The first two players taken from the Southeastern Conference were Joshua Primo of Alabama, who went No. 12 to San Antonio and Moses Moody of Arkansas, taken 14th by Golden State.
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