Published: Mon, June 26, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Fultz, Ball headline youthful draft class


Markelle Fultz is a self-described hard worker and that diligence paid dividends Thursday as the Philadelphia 76ers made him the first overall pick in the 2017 National Basketball Association entry draft.

"It was unbelievable, really", said Fultz when asked about the feeling of crossing the stage after being announced as top pick.

When he arrived for his workout, Fultz says the Sixers had a table filled with Chick-fil-a sandwiches waiting for him, and he respected that "they did their research".

Philadelphia garnered the top draft selection in a trade with Boston.

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With the seventh pick the Minnesota Timberwolves claimed Lauri Markkanen of Finland, who played college ball at Arizona, but the Finn will be headed to Chicago as part of a big trade for All-Star guard Jimmy Butler. No other United States university player averaged 14 points with six rebounds and six assists a game as well.

Briton OG Anunoby was taken 23rd overall by the Toronto Raptors, becoming the highest drafted English player, and Anžejs Pasečņiks of Latvia was selected 25th overall by the Orlando Magic.

"It's insane, I couldn't ask for anything more, to be able to learn from (Johnson) every day is truly a blessing", Ball said.

"I mean, it's extremely gratifying for me to be in that top five, and we already knew that this was going to be a pretty tough draft and it was pretty loaded at the point guard position, and for me to be up there is just a blessing", Fox said. The Celtics used the third pick on Duke's Jayson Tatum.

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Silver has talked about changing the NBA's limit, saying the current rule that American-born players must be 19 and a year out of high school, but teams seem just fine with the current system.

Although Washington struggled a year ago, Fultz shined.

Fultz is one of dozens of freshmen college players to be selected in Thursday's Draft. Sacramento was the only team with two lottery picks.

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