LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The NBA Draft is Thursday night and five former area college players are expected to hear their names called in the first round.
Former Murray State star Ja Morant will be the first. He’s projected to go #2 overall to Memphis, just behind his former AAU teammate Zion Williamson.
“It’s just a wow moment for both of us to be top picks right now,” Morant said. “Obviously I felt like Zion was a great talent back then and knew he would be someone who would play in the NBA, but having the the opportunity to go one and two in the draft, both from South Carolina, is big for us and the state of South Carolina.”
The next area player picked is anyone’s guess. Most mock drafts have former UK star PJ Washington somewhere near the lottery, which is the top 14 picks.
Washington said his agent has indicated that he’ll be picked somewhere between nine to fifteen. Returning to Lexington for his sophomore season looks like a great move.
“Yeah it definitely benefited me,” Washington said. “I feel like I went back and did pretty much everything I needed to do. A lot of people coming out were saying that my shot really wasn’t good, so I went back and tried to work on stuff like that and just came out and I feel like I’m a lot better position than what I would have been in last year.”
Romeo Langford was one of the top players in the country at New Albany High School and after a season at Indiana University, he’s expected to be a first round selection.
“It’ll be a big dream come true,” Langford said. “It’s probably the number one goal on my list. Probably the number one goal on all our lists since we’ve been playing basketball, so I’m just going to enjoy it.”
Tyler Herro and Keldon Johnson both only spent one season at UK. They are both projected to be first round picks.
“Looking back at it I definitely feel like I made the right choice,” Herro said. “I knew at the beginning of this process that a lot of people had me probably late first round, early second round. I knew once I was done with the workouts, my stock would rise. I think it’s risen definitely over the last couple of weeks and I’m excited to see where I go.”
Draft coverage tips off at 7 p.m. on Thursday on ESPN.