Friday, June 28, 2013

Orlando Magic Draft Romero Osby in 2nd Round

Former University of Oklahoma men's basketball player Romero Osby was selected by the Orlando Magic in the second round of Thursday night's NBA Draft held in Brooklyn, N.Y. Osby was the No. 51 overall pick and became the fourth Sooner in the last five years to be drafted.

Osby, who led OU to a 20-12 record this past season and to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2009, was the Sooners' first first-team All-Big 12 selection since Blake Griffin the same year. The forward from Meridian, Miss., led head coach Lon Kruger's squad in scoring (16.0 ppg), rebounding (7.0 rpg), blocked shots (0.8 bpg) and field goal percentage (.526) this season, while also averaging 1.3 assists in 28.7 minutes a game. Projected to 40 minutes a contest, Osby averaged 22.2 points and 9.8 rebounds.

"I'm just overwhelmed and blessed," said Osby, who watched the draft in Meridian with a group of 20 family members and friends. "The night was filled with anxiety and nervousness over not knowing what was going to happen. I got a text message from my agent saying that Orlando was going to pick me at No. 51. I couldn't believe it. Then ESPN went to a commercial after the 49th pick. I was like, 'Please come back on so my parents and family can see it and hear it. They did and it was great."

Osby said he and his wife and daughter will go to Orlando on Friday for a press conference. He said he selected jersey No. 24.

"Extremely happy for Romero," said Kruger. "He's very deserving and I know he's excited. He's certainly a terrific player and represented the Sooners extremely well the last three years. We couldn't be more pleased."

Said ESPN's Jay Bilas following the selection, "Low maintenance player. Lon Kruger, the head coach at Oklahoma, just loves Romero Osby. He can rebound. He has shown the ability to score. He's a guy that's going to be a rotation guy that's going to come in and play his tail off. He's going to be absolutely no maintenance for you on the roster."

In Big 12 play, he ranked first in the league in field goals (109), second in scoring (17.8 ppg), third in field goal percentage (.540) and fifth in rebounding (7.3 rpg) and free throw percentage (.776).

Osby led OU (or tied for the lead) in scoring in 13 of 18 Big 12 games and scored in double figures in all but one of them. He shot 50 percent or better from the field in 24 of 32 games, including in 20 of the final 25 contests. Over the last six outings of the year, he averaged 23.0 points.

A team captain, Osby scored at least 20 points eight times on the year, netting at least 26 points on three occasions. He scored a career-high 31 points Feb. 27 at Texas. Osby was a force on the defensive end as well, leading OU with 27 blocked shots and 21 charges taken. He was an honorable mention all-league pick in 2011-12 as a junior. Osby fell one free throw shy of tying the school record for consecutive makes. He drained 36 straight attempts during a December/January stretch and shot .794 on the season.

"I'd just like to thank the OU fans for all the support over the years," said Osby. "I wouldn't even be here if it wasn't for you guys. I love Sooner Nation and I appreciate you pushing me and backing me. I'll be a Sooner until the day I die.

Osby became the 46th Sooner to be selected in the NBA Draft and the first since Willie Warren went to the Los Angeles Clippers with the 54th overall pick in 2010.
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