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USC's Onyeka Okongwu Drafted Sixth Overall By Atlanta Hawks

Nov 18, 2020

Trojans in the NBA | Photos: Best of 'Big O'

USC forward Onyeka Okongwu was selected sixth overall by the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft Wednesday.

Okongwu is USC's highest drafted player since O.J. Mayo was selected third in the 2008 NBA Draft and fourth all-time taken in the top 10 (DeMar DeRozan 9th in 2009 and Paul Westphal 10th in 1972). For the second consecutive NBA Draft USC has had a player taken in the first round (Kevin Porter Jr., 2019). USC seven first-round selections since 2007 in the NBA Draft are tied for 13th among all college programs. Also, USC's four draft selections in the last three NBA Drafts are tied for the most among all-Pac-12 teams with Washington and Arizona.

"Onyeka has worked extremely hard for this moment and the entire USC men's basketball program is excited for him," said USC men's basketball head coach Andy Enfield. "He is a very talented basketball player with a tireless work ethic and is going to be a huge addition to the winning culture of the Hawks. We are thankful for Onyeka's winning contributions to our program and can't wait to watch his success in the NBA."

Okongwu averaged 16.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks during the 2019-20 season for the Trojans and was named to the 2020 USBWA District IX first team, the 2020 All-Pac-12 first team and Pac-12 All-Freshman team. He had 76 blocks which are a USC freshman record. Among freshmen nationally, he finished first in field goal percentage (61.6), second in total blocks (76) and blocks per game (2.71), third in offensive rebounds per game (3.29), tied for sixth in double doubles (11), tied for seventh in rebounds per game (8.6) and eighth in points per game (16.2). He was the only player in the country to average 20 points, 10 rebounds 1.5 steals and 3.0 blocks per 40 minutes played during the 2019-20 season.

In his one season at USC, the 6-9, 245-pound forward produced one of the finest freshman seasons in school history. He was a tough rebounder and defender and was a key component to USC's attack on both defense and offense, while leading the Trojans to a 22-9 record. Okongwu is the USC all-time freshman leader in blocks (76) and field goal percentage (61.6 percent) and ranks in the top 5 in rebounds (2nd, 242), points (4th, 454), free throws made (5th, 103) and field goals made (5th, 103).

Gallery: (3-25-2020) Best of Onyeka Okongwu