As the NBA concluded the 2015-2016 season last weekend, this weekend starts a new time for a group of young rookies whose dreams are ready and set to come true. The NBA Draft is the most fun and exciting time for these players as we watch their hard work and dedication pay off.
Two young men in particular have been the focus of this draft, in which, one was chosen as the number one overall pick, kicking off the 2016-2017 NBA season and the other to be chosen second overall.
First Pick: Ben Simmons was chosen first by the Philadelphia 76ers. He is from Fitzroy, Australia and attended Louisiana State University before entering the draft. Last season at LSU, he averaged 19 points, 4.8 assist and 11.8 rebounds per game as a freshman. Ben stands 6‘10, and weighs 240 pounds with a wingspan of approximately 7 feet. He prides himself on having a great basketball IQ, court vision and leaping capabilities that are remarkable.
Simmons has been compared to LeBron James and Magic Johnson. He was granted SEC pre season player of the year last season and concluded the season being named First Team All-Conference for the Southeastern Conference and receiving the NCAA Men’s Basketball freshman of the year award.
However, this young player is no stranger to the trophy case. While attending high school at Montverde Academy in Montverde, Florida, he was a McDonald;s All American, Gatorade Player of the Year and received MVP honors at the High School National Tournament both his junior and senior seasons.
Second chosen overall was Brandon Ingram by the Lakers. Ingram is from Kinston, North Carolina. He attended Duke University before entering into the 2016 NBA Draft. While a freshman at Duke, last season he averaged 17.5 points, 2.0 assist, 1.4 blocks and 6.8 rebounds per game. Brandon stands 6’9 and weighs 195 pounds with a wingspans of 7’3. He has been celebrated for his shooting capabilities, high basketball IQ and passing abilities. He is hoped to come into the Lakers organization healthy and be an impact player right away as they head into the 2016-2017 season with a young team, lacking the talents of future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant, who retired this past season.
Brandon is no stranger to pressure though, as he helped lead the Duke Blue Devils to the Elite 8 last season and earned 2nd Team All-Conference honors in the Atlantic Coast Conference. While playing at Kinston High School, he was also a McDonalds All-American and is the only basketball player to win four consecutive North Carolina State Championships.