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Ex-Sickles star Henson goes 14th to Bucks in NBA draft

Staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 07:13 PM
NEWARK, N.J. -

The Milwaukee Bucks chose North Carolina power forward John Henson with the No. 14 pick in the NBA draft on Thursday night.

The 6-foot-11, 220-pound Henson, who played his senior season at Sickles High, averaged 13.7 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.9 blocked shots as a junior last season.

Some experts have compared Henson to a young Kevin Garnett, who also was slender when he entered the NBA.

Henson, a two-time ACC defensive player of the year, was seen as a potential top-10 pick going into the draft, primarily because of his rebounding and shot-blocking.

He averaged 2.56 blocks per game for his career, making him the school’s all-time leader in blocked shots per game. His 279 total blocks ranked second in school history behind Brendan Haywood.

"At the end of the season, we had a very difficult time protecting the basket. And I think right now, there’s no reason for us not to have a quality shot-blocker on the floor at all times," Bucks general manager John Hammond said.

Henson expects to surprise some people with his offensive ability, which may have resulted in his drop out of the top 10.

"I think I’m better offensively than most people think, and I can show that," Henson said. "But defense is my calling card."

Earlier, Florida freshman Bradley Beal went to the Washington Wizards at No. 3.

The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 14.8 points and 6.5 rebounds during his lone season with the Gators. Beal, who turned 19 on Thursday, will join a backcourt headlined by John Wall, the first selection in the 2010 draft.

Considered one of the draft’s premier perimeter shooters, Beal made 10 of 19 of his 3-point attempts during the NCAA tourney. Last season the Wizards ranked 28th from beyond the arc, shooting 32 percent.

Orlando took a pair of four-year players in 6-foot-9 St. Bonaventure forward Andrew Nicholson at No. 19 and 6-10 Kyle O’Quinn out of Norfolk State at No. 49 in the second round.

There was little suspense at the top of the draft as the New Orleans Hornets selected Kentucky forward Anthony Davis at No. 1. The Charlotte Bobcats followed by taking fellow freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, making UK the first school to have the top two picks. John Calipari has been criticized for recruiting "one-and-done" players — they stay the required one year and leave — but he looked thrilled hugging his two stars.

It has been a long time since a school made such an impact on the draft.

UCLA had the Nos. 1 and 3 picks in 1969, when Milwaukee took Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — then Lew Alcindor — and Lucius Allen went third to the Seattle SuperSonics.

Davis will begin his pro career in the same city where he ended it with a national title. College basketball’s player of the year as a freshman was the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four despite shooting just 1 for 10 from the field in the title game, grabbing 16 rebounds and blocking six shots in the victory over Kansas.

Charlotte, coming off a 7-59 season and the worst winning percentage in NBA history, had been open to moving the No. 2 pick if it found the right deal.

Instead, Michael Jordan’s team went with Kidd-Gilchrist.

With Beal going third to Washington, it made three SEC freshman in the first three picks.

 

Information from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was used in this report.

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