Nicolas Claxton selected 31st by Brooklyn in 2019 NBA Draft
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Nicolas Claxton selected 31st by Brooklyn in 2019 NBA Draft

Nicolas Claxton
Photo: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

UGA’s Nicolas Claxton was selected 31st by the Brooklyn Nets in the 2019 NBA Draft on Thursday evening.

Claxton was selected first in the second round of the draft. He missed by one spot being only the eighth Georgia Bulldogs men’s basketball player to be selected in the first round of the NBA Draft.

“It’s been my dream my whole life just to be here,” Claxton said. “It just feels surreal right now to be here. I just want to show people I can play. A lot of people think I’m a project. I just want to show people that I can play and go out there and contribute in a major way.”

“I was here two of three weeks ago on a visit and worked out for the team,” Claxton said. “I really enjoyed it. To be picked here is a blessing, and I’m ready to get to work for Brooklyn. I feel like God, he already has everything planned out for me. I’m just following his footsteps.”

The most recent Bulldog drafted in the opening round was Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who was selected eighth overall by the Detroit Pistons in 2013, good enough to be a lottery pick.

Nicolas Claxton signed with the Georgia Bulldogs in November of 2016 under former head coach Mark Fox. He played at Legacy Charter School in Greenville, South Carolina.

As a sophomore under new head coach Tom Crean, Nicolas Claxton (6-11, 220) led the Bulldogs with 13.0 points per game, 7.4 rebounds per game, 34 steals, and 81 blocks. Claxton also led the Dawgs with 32 games started and 1,012 total minutes played during the 2018-19 season.

“We are all very happy for Nic,” head coach Tom Crean said. “Being drafted by an organization on the upswing like the Brooklyn Nets that is so well run by Sean Marks and well coached by Kenny Atkinson will be tremendous for Nic. Personally, I was hopeful he’d go to an organization that was totally committed to player development, and that’s definitely the case with Brooklyn.”

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