Huskies Likely to Have First-Rounder for Third Straight Year
June 27, 2007
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SEATTLE - Washington Huskies have been popular with NBA teams in recent drafts. This year should be no exception.
The University of Washington is one of just three schools to have a player selected during the first round in each of the last two drafts, joining Connecticut and North Carolina State.
Five athletes who played at UW during the last three seasons saw NBA action last year. They will soon be joined by freshman center Spencer Hawes, who is projected as a high first-round selection in this year's draft.
Hawes will be in attendance Thursday (June 28) at New York's Madison Square Garden, the 2007 NBA Draft headquarters. He will await his selection in the draft that begins at 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time.
NBA Draft Picks in the Romar Era
Playing in the NBA has been a lifelong dream for Hawes. He understands the potential for limited playing time as a rookie, but hasn't resigned himself to that fate.
'You have to try to prepare for that, but if that's your mindset, that's the wrong mindset to have. If I thought I was going to go sit on a bench, I don't think I'd be going.'
His decision to turn pro wasn't as easy as some might imagine.
'The fact that our team struggled a bit last season made the decision not to return to Washington very difficult,' Hawes explained. 'Certainly, there are some things I would have liked to accomplish in college. But, I feel I made the best decision to my family and my future.'
He attended the NBA pre-draft camp in Orlando, Fla. earlier this month and worked out for five different teams during a 12-day span.
Hawes led the Huskies and ranked 10th among Pacific-10 Conference scorers with a 14.9 per game scoring average. His 53.2 percent accuracy from the field was the league's fourth-best figure. Hawes ranked second on the team and ninth among Pac-10 players with an average of 6.4 rebounds per game.
'Spencer is obviously very talented. We think so and the NBA thinks so,' said Husky head coach Lorenzo Romar, who played five seasons in the NBA. 'Spencer has a great opportunity in front of him and we wish him the best. One of the important character traits that really describes Spencer is the fact that during the spring quarter he completed every one of his classes and remained an outstanding student at the University of Washington.'
The 7-foot center was a first-team All-Pac-10 Freshman Team selection and an honorable mention all-conference pick. He established two new school freshman records with 461 points and 54 blocked shots.
A product of Seattle Prep (Wash.) High School, Hawes was a prep teammate of Martell Webster who currently plays with the Portland Trailblazers. Both players were McDonald's All-Americans. Webster was the sixth overall selection in the 2005 NBA Draft.
Hawes is the nephew of Steve Hawes, a two-time All-American (1971, 1972) at Washington who went on to a 10-year NBA career. Steve was the 24h overall selection in the 1972 NBA Draft, a second-round pick by Cleveland.
Spencer's father, Jeff Hawes, was a three-year Husky basketball letterman from 1972-74.
Hawes is the first player to declare for the draft after less than two seasons at Washington.
UW had three former players leave school early to declare for the NBA Draft, all of them departed after their junior seasons. Nate Robinson was a first-round selection in the 2005 draft, the 21st pick overall by the Phoenix Suns who immediately traded him to New York. Mark Sanford was picked by the Miami Heat in the second round of the 1997 draft, the 30th player overall. Doug Wrenn applied for the 2004 draft, but was not selected.
The Huskies completed the 2007 campaign with a 19-13 record, capping the regular-season with a 61-51 home victory over second-ranked and national runner-up UCLA on March 3.
Two Huskies were selected in last year's draft, both by Minnesota. Brandon Roy, the No. 6 overall pick, was traded to the Portland Trailblazers and No. 37 selection Bobby Jones was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Washington's last two first-round picks have thrived. Roy received the 2007 NBA Rookie of the Year award with Portland and Robinson won the 2006 NBA Slam Dunk Contest with the New York Knicks.
University of Washington 1st Round Draft Picks
Year Player Pick Team
2006 Brandon Roy 6 Minnesota
2005 Nate Robinson 21 Phoenix
2005 #Martell Webster 6 Portland
2002 %Dan Dickau 28 Sacramento
1987 Chris Welp 16 Philadelphia
1985 Detlef Schrempf 8 Dallas
1953 Bob Houbregs 3 Milwaukee
1948 Jack Nichols 12 Washington
# UW letter of intent signee who declared for the draft directly out of high school
% Played two seasons at UW before transferring to Gonzaga