Best Big 12 Player Drafted #59: Chinemelu Elonu, Texas A&M Aggies, by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009
The 2009 NBA Draft was almost bookended by Big 12 stars. With Blake Griffin going first overall, the Lakers took the 6'10 Nigerian with the second to last pick. I'm not going to spoil the ending, but since Elonu never saw regular season NBA action and is now playing in Europe, suffice to say one has had a bigger impact than the other.
Other Notable Big 12 Players Drafted 59th: None
Best Non-Big 12 Player Drafted 59th: D.J. Strawberry, Maryland Terrapins, by the Phoenix Suns in 2007
Children of the 80's probably recognize Strawberry's name most because of his famous baseball playing dad, Darryl. But Staw made a name for himself at UMD and later for 33 games with the Phoenix Suns, averaging 2.2 points per game. D.J. is now in Lithuania after spanned several seasons in the D-League.
In preparation for the 2011 NBA Draft, each day until June 23 we'll count down the best Big 12 player drafted with each pick. This list only takes into account players who played in the Big 12, so it starts with the 1997 draft. In total 70 Big 12 alumni have been selected, filling 43 of the 60 possible slots.