UK closer to NBA Draft record after two Wildcats selected in first round

Former University of Kentucky star De'Aaron Fox is one of many Wildcats who went on to be selected in the first round of the NBA Draft.
Former University of Kentucky star De'Aaron Fox is one of many Wildcats who went on to be selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. cbertram@herald-leader.com

Only one school in the history of college basketball has produced more first-round NBA Draft picks than the University of Kentucky, and the gap is closing.

North Carolina, which didn't have a player drafted in the first round of the draft on Thursday night, has had 49 former players selected in the first round. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Kevin Knox were selected in the first round on Thursday, giving UK a total of 48 first-round picks in history.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who was picked 11th overall by the Charlotte Hornets, was UK's 26th first-round pick since 2010, the first draft under John Calipari. North Carolina during that span has had only 10 first-round selections.

Alex Groza, selected by the Indianapolis Olympians with the No. 2 overall pick in 1949, was the first UK player elected in the first round of NBA Draft, which began in 1947 when the league was known as the Basketball Association of America.

Here is every UK player chosen in the first round, beginning with the most recent draft.


Kevin Knox, New York Knicks (9th pick)

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Charlotte Hornets (11th pick)


De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings (5th pick)

Malik Monk, Charlotte Hornets (11th pick)

Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat (14th pick)


Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets (7th pick)

Skal Labissiere, Phoenix Suns (28th pick)


Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves (1st pick)

Willie Cauley-Stein, Sacramento Kings (6th pick)

Trey Lyles, Utah Jazz (12th pick)

Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns (13th pick)

Karl-Anthony Towns reflects on the 2014-15 Kentucky Wildcats near-perfect season.


Julius Randle, Los Angeles Lakers (7th pick)

James Young, Boston Celtics (17th pick)


Nerlens Noel, New Orleans Pelicans (6th pick)

Archie Goodwin, Oklahoma City Thunder (29th pick)


Anthony Davis, New Orleans Hornets (1st pick)

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte Bobcats (2nd pick)

Terrence Jones, Houston Rockets (18th pick)

Marquis Teague, Chicago Bulls (29th pick)


Enes Kanter, Utah Jazz (3rd pick)

Brandon Knight, Detroit Pistons (8th pick)


John Wall, Washington Wizards (1st pick)

DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings (5th pick)

Patrick Patterson, Houston Rockets (14th pick)

Eric Bledsoe, Oklahoma City Thunder (18th pick)

Daniel Orton, Orlando Magic (29th pick)

Former University of Kentucky star John Wall was inducted into the UK Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday night in Lexington.


Rajon Rondo, Phoenix Suns (21st pick)


Tayshaun Prince, Detroit Pistons (23rd pick)


Jamaal Magloire, Charlotte Hornets (19th pick)


Scott Padgett, Utah Jazz (28th pick)


Nazr Mohammed, Utah Jazz (29th pick)


Ron Mercer, Boston Celtics (6th pick)

Derek Anderson, Cleveland Cavaliers (13th pick)


Antoine Walker, Boston Celtics (6th pick)

Tony Delk, Charlotte Hornets (16th pick)

Walter McCarty, New York Knicks (19th pick)


Jamal Mashburn, Dallas Mavericks (4th pick)


Rex Chapman, Charlotte Hornets (8th pick)


Kenny Walker, New York Knicks (5th pick)


Sam Bowie, Portland Trail Blazers (2nd pick)

Melvin Turpin, Washington Bullets (6th pick)


Kyle Macy, Phoenix Suns (22nd pick)


Rick Robey, Indiana Pacers (3rd pick)

Jack Givens, Atlanta Hawks (16th pick)


Kevin Grevey, Washington Billets (18th pick)


Pat Riley, San Diego Rockets (7th pick)


Frank Ramsey, Boston Celtics (5th pick)


Alex Groza, Indianapolis Olympians (2nd pick)

Wah Wah Jones, Washington Capitols (8th pick)

1949 FILE PHOTO: University of Kentucky's Alex Groza, right, goes by University of Georgia's Al Fabian, on his way to two points in Alumni Gymnasium on February 21, 1949. Groza set an SEC scoring record when he reached 38 points as UK defeated Georgia 95-40.