NEW YORK - Baylor All-American Ekpe Udoh became the first lottery pick in program history when he was selected with the No. 6 overall pick by the Golden State Warriors in Thursday's 2010 NBA Draft.
Udoh is the first Baylor player taken in the NBA Draft since the Los Angeles Clippers selected Brian Skinner with the 22nd overall pick of the first round in 1998. The Edmond, Okla., native is the highest draft pick in program history; Detroit Pistons great Vinnie Johnson was selected No. 7 overall by the Seattle SuperSonics (now Oklahoma City Thunder) in the 1979 NBA Draft.
"I love BU Nation," Udoh said in his first press conference as an NBA player. "We rose from the darkness and advanced to the Elite Eight last year. It was great to see everyone jump on the Baylor bandwagon.
"(The Baylor Bears) will be successful for many years," Udoh said. "I really believe in Coach Drew and what he's doing."
Udoh, who established Baylor and Big 12 Conference single-season blocked shots records with 133 rejections in 2009-10, was named to the NCAA South Regional All-Tournament Team after averaging 13.0 points and 10.5 rebounds in Houston. The 2010 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and second-team All-Big 12 selection averaged 13.9 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.7 blocks and 2.7 assists in 36 games.
"Words cannot describe how excited we are for Ekpe to be the highest NBA draft pick in Baylor history," Baylor head coach Scott Drew said. "He has been an exemplary representative for Baylor and the Warriors are lucky to have him on their team. We wish him the best of luck and look forward to watching him live his dream for many years to come."
Nicknamed "The Nightmare", his 3.69 blocks-per-game average ranks first all-time on Baylor's career list and second on the single-season chart. The Edmond, Okla., native posted a team-best 16 double-doubles, while establishing career-best single-game and season-season marks in points, rebounding, assists and blocked shots. His 351 rebounds rank fourth on Baylor's single-season rebounding list.
BAYLOR NBA DRAFT HISTORY Year (Rd/Pick) - Player, Team 1949 (2/21) - James Owens, Washington Capitols (BAA Draft) 1950 (9/-) - Don Heathington, New York Knicks 1957 (4/31) - Jerry Mallett, Syracuse Nationals 1965 (10/79) - Spencer Carlson, St. Louis Hawks 1967 (3/21) - Darrell Hardy, Detroit Pistons 1971 (15/218) - William Chatmon, Buffalo Braves 1979 (1/7) - Vinnie Johnson, Seattle SuperSonics 1982 (1/16) - Terry Teagle, Houston Rockets 1986 (4/79) - Carlos Briggs, San Antonio Spurs 1988 (2/48) - Micheal Williams, Detroit Pistons 1988 (3/68) - Darryl Middleton, Atlanta Hawks 1993 (2/44) - Alex Holcombe, Sacramento Kings 1998 (1/22) - Brian Skinner, L.A. Clippers 2010 (1/6) - Ekpe Udoh, Golden State Warriors