Ben Simmons has been drafted no. 1 overall by the Philadelphia 76ers.
Simmons joins Andrew Bogut as the only other Australian to be taken as the top overall selection in an NBA draft.
Considered the best talent in this draft class, Simmons has long made it clear that he wanted to be recognised as the best, and selected as the top pick.
“I definitely do want to go No.1,” he told Olgun Uluc of Fox Sports Australia, prior to the draft. “It’s been a goal of mine since I was a young kid.”
That goal has now been realised.
It’s official: The Sixers have drafted Ben Simmons. The No. 1 overall pick has some big shoes to fill.https://t.co/Ovm9qNNJjg
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 23, 2016
In his lone season with Louisiana State University, Simmons averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game.
He joins a Sixers organisation that has often been derided for a rigid adherence to The Process – the drafting of Simmons goes a long way towards validating that divisive strategy.
Simmons bolsters our current contingent of Australian players in the NBA to eight in total.
Thank you to Cisco TelePresence and the NBA for facilitating incredible access during the NBA Draft 2016.