Four Former Pac-10 Men's Basketball Players Ready For NBA Finals
June 2, 2010
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- The NBA Finals begin Thursday, June 3, with four former Pac-10 men’s basketball players trying to hoist the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. Forward Luke Walton (ARIZONA) and guard Jordan Farmar (UCLA) look to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to their second-straight NBA title, while guard Nate Robinson (WASHINGTON) and forward Brian Scalabrine (USC) look to guide the Boston Celtics to their first NBA championship since 2008.
Walton, who was selected by the Lakers with the 3rd pick in the second round (32 overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft, played for the Wildcats from 1999-2003. A two time All-Pac-10 member, Walton was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Pac-10 Men’s Tournament in 2002. Walton has been with the Lakers his entire career where he has averaged 5.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists.
Farmar was selected by the Lakers with the 26th pick in the first round of the 2006 NBA Draft. As a sophomore for the Bruins, he was named a first team All-Pac-10 performer. During his freshman campaign, Farmar earned Pac-10 Freshman of the Year after averaging 13.2 points and 5.2 assists in 34.3 minutes of action. Playing in his fourth season in LA, he has averaged 6.9 points and 2.1 assists.
Robinson was acquired from the New York Knicks on Feb. 18, 2010. The reigning and three time Slam Dunk Contest champion, Robinson was the 21st selection in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns before being traded to the Knicks. A two time All-Pac-10 selection, he led the Huskies to consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, and was a third team All-American in 2005. In his NBA career, he has averaged 12.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists.
Scalabrine signed with the Celtics as a free agent on Aug. 2, 2005. He was drafted by the New Jersey Nets with the 35th overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft. Scalabrine was a Trojan from 1999-2001. He was an All-Pac-10 selection in 2000 after leading USC in scoring at 17.8 points per game. In 1999, Scalabrine was named the Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year after averaging 14.6 points. In his NBA career with the Nets and Celtics, he has averaged 3.3 points and 2.1 rebounds.
In addition, former Washington State coach Kevin Eastman is in his first season as an assistant coach for the Celtics. He spent five season as head coach in Pullman where he led the Cougars to back-to-back NIT appearances in 1994-1995.
Game 1 Tips-off Thursday in Los Angeles at 9 p.m. EST and will be televised on ABC and can be heard on ESPN Radio.
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