NBA Draft: Wake has two players drafted
DEERFIELD, Ill. ó The Chicago Bulls selected James Johnson of Wake Forest with the 16th pick in the draft Thursday night, adding a versatile forward with a martial arts background who can hit the jumper and dunk in traffic to a front line that could use some scoring pop.
The 6-foot-8, 257-pound Johnson averaged 15.0 points and a team-leading 8.5 rebounds as a sophomore last season for the Demon Deacons, a team that finished 24-7 and held the No. 1 ranking in January.
Chicago landed a player who comes from one of the top martial arts families in Wyoming. One of nine children, James Johnson is a black belt who has won several world and national karate titles and his father, Willie, runs a martial arts school in Cheyenne.
“I don’t think he’s doing it anymore. If he is, it’ll be in his contract that it’s not,” Forman said with a grin. “But when we talked to the strength and conditioning and training staff at Wake Forest, they said his martial arts background has really helped him athletically as far as core strength, flexibility.”
TEAGUE TO HAWKS
The Hawks finally drafted a point guard from Wake Forest.
Four years after infamously passing on Chris Paul with the No. 2 pick, Atlanta selected Jeff Teague of the Demon Deacons with the 19th selection on the NBA draft Thursday night.
The Hawks grabbed Teague a few hours after acquiring Jamal Crawford in a trade with Golden State, bolstering a backcourt.
The 6-foot-2 Teague led Wake Forest in points (18.8) and assists (3.5) as a sophomore. He was the eighth point guard taken.
He plans to use where he was picked as motivation.
“Down the road, I think people are going to look back and say I was the best point guard taken in this draft,” Teague said. “I know a lot of great ones were taken early … but I want everyone to look back at this draft and say they passed on a great player in Jeff Teague, but the Hawks got me.”
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