June 23, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Four former Wildcats were selected in the 2011 NBA Draft, including top-10 picks Enes Kanter and Brandon Knight who were selected third and eighth overall.
Kanter was selected No. 3 overall by the Utah Jazz, followed by Knight at No. 8 by the Detroit Pistons. Josh Harrellson went 45th to the New Orleans Hornets. DeAndre Liggins ended the night for Kentucky when he was selected 53rd by the Orlando Magic.
It marks the second straight year that Kentucky had multiple players selected in the top 10 of the draft. Additionally, the Wildcats have had nine players drafted in the last two years.
UK head coach John Calipari has coached nine first round picks in the last six years and has had a player drafted in five of the last six years.
2011 NBA Draft
- The last time the Wildcats had multiple players selected in the first round of the draft in back-to-back years was in 1996 (Antoine Walker - 1st Rd., 6th overall, Boston; Tony Delk – 1st Rd., 16th overall, Charlotte; Walter McCarty – 1st Rd., 19th overall, New York) and 1997 (Ron Mercer – 1st Rd., 6th overall, Boston; Derek Anderson – 1st Rd., 13th overall, Cleveland).
- Kentucky has had four players selected in the top 10, five in the top 15 and seven in the first round of the draft in the last two years.
- Josh Harrellson was the 100th Wildcat to be taken in the NBA Draft.
- The Wildcats have had 101 players drafted by the NBA since the draft began in 1947.
- 27 Wildcats have been selected in the first round.
- Enes Kanter is the third Wildcat drafted by the Utah Jazz franchise. The last was Scott Padgett in the 1999 draft (1st Rd., 28th overall).
- Brandon Knight is the sixth Wildcat drafted by the Detroit Pistons franchise. The last was Tayshaun Prince in the 2002 draft (1st Rd., 23rd overall).
- Josh Harrellson is the fourth Wildcat drafted by the New Orleans Hornets franchise. The last was Jamaal Magloire by the Charlotte Hornets in the 2000 draft (1st, 19th overall).
- DeAndre Liggins is the third Wildcat to be drafted by the Orlando Magic franchise. The last was Daniel Orton in the 2010 draft.
"I'm so happy. I'm so excited. I know the Utah Jazz fans are crazy and I love them. I will bring the team
toughness and post moves, rebounding everything. I will try to do everything to make the playoffs."
What was the feeling like when you heard your name at number three?
"First of all, I felt great because it's the Utah Jazz. I have family there. Like Mehmet Okur plays there too, so
it's kind of like my family. So I was very happy."
On the Jazz watching him practice back in November
"I just tried to show my best. No one had seen me play yet so I just tried to show myself."
On playing one-on-one with Head Coach Tyrone Corbin in Chicago
"It was great. He was really tough. I'm just looking forward to playing with him one-on-one. He's tough. I just
want to say he's tough."
On not playing this last season
"It was so difficult because I couldn't play. I still didn't give up. I knew in the end I would be fine. Right now,
I'm trying to help the Utah Jazz. I'm trying to bring more energy and everything."
When did you realize you had skill in this game?
"I knew my skill when I first played basketball. I knew myself."
Do you play other sports?
"I play ping pong."
"I just want to say thank you to the Miller family. Be ready Utah Jazz fans; Undertaker is coming."