With the 21st pick in this evenings’ NBA draft, former Buckeye Jared Sullinger was informed that he would be headed to one of the most legendary franchises in basketball when he was drafted by the Eastern Conference’s Boston Celtics.
The two year star at Ohio State saw the end of a challenging week with the phone call from Danny Ainge; a certain lottery pick after his first season in Columbus, a second season with the Buckeyes resulted in concerns regarding his health- particularly his back. Sullinger missed several games this past season with hamstring and back injuries, and numerous scouts raised concerns about his resilience over a longer season.
However, several medical professionals and the Sullinger Camp were adamant that his durability would not be an issue- and GMs noted that he would be a steal in the second half of the first round. Jared is the 7th first round pick in six years for Ohio State.
Jared’s work ethic has never been questioned, nor has his heart. I believed going into the draft that whoever ended up selecting him would get a greater player than his draft status and statistics would indicate- he is the ultimate team player, and will thrive under another quality coach. Sullinger joins a team with some aging leadership; it will be interesting to see if he can contribute minutes to rest the veterans while learning the ropes and awaiting his time to shine. The sky is certainly the limit.
Video by WBNS-TV’s Dom Tiberi
In a press release tonight, the University had reflections from Coach Matta and an overview of Jared’s career at Ohio State.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Jared Sullinger’s two years at Ohio State culminated when his name was called with the 21st overall pick by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 2012 National Basketball Association Draft Thursday at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Sullinger is the eighth Buckeye coached by Thad Matta, head coach at Ohio State, selected in the annual professional draft.
As a sophomore, Sullinger averaged a team-leading 17.5 points and 9.2 rebounds for the Buckeyes. He averaged a double-double as a freshman with 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds, numbers that also led his teammates.
Over his two years under Matta’s direction, Sullinger started 73 of 74 games in which he appeared, making 53 percent of his shots from the field (450-849) and 73 percent at the foul line (363-495). The Columbus, Ohio, native blocked 59 shots and recorded 80 steals while scoring 1,282 (17.3 ppg.) career points and grabbing 717 rebounds (9.7 rpg.). Sullinger’s rebounding average ranks No. 8 all-time in Ohio State history.
Matta said the Celtics are getting a quality addition to their roster and their community.
“Boston will be getting a quality person and a tremendous basketball player,” 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.”
Michael Redd, another Columbus native who played for the Buckeyes from 1998-2000, said Sullinger has the ability and intelligence to prosper at the professional level.
“The young man is skilled,” Redd said. “His basketball IQ is off the charts. He has got to work and put the time in but I can see him having a long career in the NBA.”
Sullinger joins Turner, Mullens, Koufos, Conley, Cook and Michael Redd as former Buckeyes currently active in the NBA. Redd earned a gold medal for the United States on the men’s senior national team in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He also was elected to the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame and was inducted in 2009.
NOTING JARED SULLINGER
• Two-time consensus First Team All-American
• Two-time Wooden Award Finalist
• 2012 NCAA East Region Most Outstanding Player
• 2012 NCAA All-East Region Team
• 2012 NABC First Team All-District 7
• 2012 First Team All-Big Ten (coaches/media)
• 2011-12 Big Ten Player of the Week (Jan. 9, Feb. 6, March 5)
• 2011 Sporting News Freshman of the Year
• 2011 Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Year
• 2011 Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player
• 2011 Big Ten All-Tournament Team
• 2011 NABC District 7 First Team
• 2011 Big Ten Freshman of the Year
• 2010-11 Big Ten Freshman of the Week (Nov. 15, Nov. 22, Dec. 6, Dec. 13, Dec. 20, Dec. 27, Jan. 3, Jan. 10, Jan. 24, Jan. 31, Feb. 7)
• 2010-11 Big Ten Player of the Week (Nov. 22, Dec. 13, Jan. 10, Jan. 24)
• Career Scoring: No. 29 – 1,282 points
• Career Rebounds: No. 11 – 717 rebounds
• Career Rebounding Average: No. 8 (T) – 9.7 rpg.
• Season FTs made (2011): No. 5 – 188
• Season FTs made (2012): No. 8 (T) – 175
• Season FT attempts (2011): No. 1 – 267
• Season FT attempts (2012): No. 7 – 228
• One of 24 players all time with 1,000 pts, 500 rebounds
• Third-most points over first two years (1,282) at Ohio State behind Jerry Lucas (1,381) and Michael Redd (1,361)