NEW YORK — The New York Knicks selected Obi Toppin with the No. 8 pick in the NBA draft Wednesday night (Thursday, Manila time), bringing the national player of the year back to his hometown.
Toppin ended a remarkable ride from unheralded prospect to the top of college basketball by leading Dayton to a 29-2 record as a sophomore. He averaged 20 points and shot 63.3% from the field en route to being a unanimous All-America selection.
That would have seemed unimaginable a few years earlier, after he received no Division I scholarship offers after playing only one season of varsity basketball in Ossining, New York.
But Toppin, born in Brooklyn, shot up from 6-foot-2 as a high school junior to his current 6-9.
The Knicks made him their first pick under the new leadership of President Leon Rose and coach Tom Thibodeau. They also hold the No. 23 selection after completing a trade with Utah earlier Wednesday.