BATON ROUGE – LSU forward Johnny O'Bryant III realized his dream of being drafted in the National Basketball Association when he was selected in the second round with the 36th pick by the Milwaukee Bucks Thursday night in the 2014 NBA Draft held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
O’Bryant III, from Cleveland, Miss., is LSU’s first draft selection since seven-foot center Justin Hamilton was taken in the second round in 2012 by Philadelphia and subsequently traded on draft night to Miami.
Since 2000, all of the LSU draft picks, with the exception of shooting guard Marcus Thornton who was taken in the second round by New Orleans (43rd pick), have all been forwards or centers: 2000 – Stromile Swift (Vancouver, 2nd pick); Jabari Smith (Sacramento, 2nd round); 2005 – Brandon Bass (New Orleans, 2nd round); Tyrus Thomas (Portland, traded to Chicago, 4th pick); 2007 – Glen Davis (Seattle, traded to Boston, 2nd round); 2008 – Anthony Randolph (Golden State, 14th pick); and, 2012 – Hamilton (Philadelphia traded to Miami, 2nd round).
O’Bryant III took part in 16 workouts including the NBA combine.
“I am really excited for Johnny O’Bryant and his family,” said LSU Head Basketball Coach Johnny Jones. It’s great to see his patience and his hard work has paid off. It is wonderful to see dream come true.”
Jones, who coached O’Bryant III for two seasons, also said that Milwaukee was one of the teams he worked out for (last week) and “the Bucks had shown the most interest in him and were very engaged” in saying that they were very interested in making him their selection.
O’Bryant III watched the ESPN coverage of the draft in his hometown of Cleveland, Miss., at the home of his mother, Angela Moore. He was joined by agent Jackson, Miss., lawyer Gerald Collier and two of his closest friends – former LSU players Andre Stringer and Jalen Courtney.
In his junior season, JOB III was named to the Coaches All-SEC First Team for the second consecutive year while also being named All-Louisiana and All-District by the United States Basketball Writers and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
He had eight 20-plus point scoring games and eight double doubles, giving him 25 for his career. O’Bryant III averaged 15.4 points a game, 7.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists a contest while playing an average of 30 minutes a game. He was ninth in the league in scoring, fifth in rebounding and his 49.6% field goal percentage (203-of-409) was the fourth best in the Southeastern Conference.
The forward finished his career with 702 rebounds, 20th on LSU’s all-time list and his 1,157 career points puts him 31st on the school scoring list. O’Bryant III finished his career as one of just 14 players in LSU history to have 1,000 career points and 700 rebounds.
With the selection of JOBIII in the second round of the draft, LSU in the last two months has had someone selected in the first two rounds of the NFL, MLB and NBA drafts.
A total of six players were chosen from SEC schools in the 2014 draft.
There was also other news regarding LSU players in the NBA as Anthony Randolph, a 2008 first round pick, was traded to Chicago from Denver during the opening round of the draft. In the trade, Denver received Gary Harris and Jusuf Nurjic for LSU's Randolph and Doug McDermott.