By Justin Toscano
Lauri Markkanen was a lock to be a lottery pick and was almost certainly going to be drafted top-10. But other than him, there was uncertainty as to whether any other Arizona Wildcats would be drafted at all on Thursday.
However, guard Kadeem Allen snuck into the late second round as he was selected by the Boston Celtics with the 53rd overall pick. He and Markkanen were the only Wildcats drafted on Thursday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
“Kadeem Allen is one of my favorite players I’ve ever been around as a player, assistant coach and head coach.” – Coach Miller#BearDown pic.twitter.com/xItdC6kfcv
— Arizona Basketball (@APlayersProgram) June 23, 2017
Allen was given Second Team All-Conference honors in his final year with Arizona in 2016-17. He was also voted to the Pac-12 All-Defensive team by the league’s coaches.
His career-high scoring total is only 18 points, but Allen can help a basketball team in other ways. He’s known for his defense. His 53 steals led the Wildcats last season as he averaged 1.6 per game, which made him tied for fourth-best in the conference.
Before arriving at Arizona, Allen attended community college and was named the 2014 National JUCO Player of the Year by both the NABC and the NJCAA. He was named a First Team All-American by both of those organizations as well.
Celtics killing the second round. Kadeem Allen will be a ten year pro. One of the best perimeter defenders in this draft. Great story.
— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) June 23, 2017
Now, he’ll try to make his mark in the NBA.