Former Buckeye Jared Sullinger was selected 21st overall by the Boston Celtics in the NBA Draft tonight at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
Sullinger averaged 17.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per game in two seasons at Ohio State. He was a two-time first team All-American. Despite battling injuries his sophomore season, Sullinger still managed to lead the Buckeyes to the Final Four.
“Boston will be getting a quality person and a tremendous basketball player,” Ohio State head coach Thad Matta said. “Jared was an integral part of our success the last two years and I suspect he will be equally successful in the years to come. This is a day the Sullinger family has been looking forward to for many years. I know they are proud of Jared’s accomplishments and will be avid supporters throughout his professional career.”
In an historic freshman season, Sullinger was named national freshman of the year, Big Ten freshman of the year and MVP of the Big Ten Tournament.
Speculation has engulfed Sullinger the past two weeks. He came under fire after lacking athleticism in workouts. Then he was red-flagged by NBA doctors for back issues and teams were told his career could be cut short. Several doctors alerted their teams to not draft Sullinger in the first round.The league followed up medical reports by not inviting Sullinger and his family to the draft.
Now he'll have the opportunity to prove doubters wrong and make Boston general manager Danny Ainge happy about rolling the dice.