The NBA gave further validation today to what Washington basketball fans have known for some time – there's a lot of talent coming out of this state.
Gonzaga's Adam Morrison, a graduate of Mead High School in Spokane, was taken by the Charlotte Bobcats with the third pick in the first round of the NBA draft today.
And Washington's Brandon Roy, a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle, was taken by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the sixth pick overall. But that appears to have been short-lived. A trade reportedly will send him to Portland in exchange for Randy Foye of Villanova, who was drafted seventh by Portland. The Blazers had obtained that pick from Boston, hoping to draft Roy there.
It is the second straight year at least two Washington high school products have been taken in the first round and the third time since 2002.
Last year, three graduates of Washington high schools were taken in the first round – Bremerton's Marvin Williams (No. 2 to Atlanta), Seattle Prep's Martell Webster (No. 6 to Portland) and Rainier Beach's Nate Robinson (No. 21 to Phoenix, then traded to the Knicks).
Morrison became the highest draft pick in Gonzaga history. John Stockton had been the highest, at No. 16 by Utah in 1984. Roy was the highest pick in UW history since Bob Houbregs, who was taken with the third pick in 1953.
For both Roy and Morrison, today is the culmination of a lifelong dream that began to become a reality last season when they led their two schools to the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament.
Both resisted the temptation to go elsewhere for college to instead play at their hometown school and each blossomed into first-team All-Americans last season.
Morrison was known as one of the best shooters in college basketball last season, leading the NCAA in scoring at 28.1 points per game while Roy was lauded for his all-around game, averaging 20.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists.