Jacksonville Sports Day

NBA: Bulldogs’ Edwards Selected No. 1 Overall In NBA Draft

(Photo by Tony Walsh)

ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia’s Anthony Edwards was chosen by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2020 NBA Draft on Wednesday. Edwards becomes the Bulldogs’ highest draft pick ever, topping Dominique Wilkins, who was selected No. 3 overall in 1982.

“This is an incredibly special night for an incredibly special young man,” Georgia head coach Tom Crean said. “I know the time and the effort he’s put into getting to this point. He’s earned it. He works extremely hard. He’s dedicated to getting better.”

Edwards is the 39th Bulldog to be selected in the NBA Draft and the eighth first-rounder. Wilkins was Georgia’s previous highest NBA selection, going to the Utah Jazz in 1982 before being traded to the Atlanta Hawks, where be played the majority of his hall-of-fame career. Edwards is the first lottery pick since Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was chosen the No. 8 pick in 2013.

“This is a big-time moment for this program,” Crean said. “When you’re trying to build on what others have done here before, you’ve got to have moments that help establish what you want your program to be. I think this is something that everyone who has ever been a part of Georgia Basketball can be proud of. It also shows that you can come to Georgia, and in Anthony’s case come to Georgia and stay close to home, and you can achieve all of your dreams. That’s really, really important for us.”

Edwards was the nation’s top-scoring freshman last season, averaging 19.1 ppg for the Bulldogs. He scored 610 points, the 10th-most ever by an SEC freshman and the seventh-highest effort by a Bulldog in a single season. Edwards notched 27 double-digit scoring outputs in 32 games, with 13 20-points and three 30-point performances. He scored a career-high 37 points – including 33 in the second half alone – against No. 3 Michigan State in the Maui Jim Maui Classic. He also posted three double-figure rebound counts, which led to a trio of double-doubles.

“Everyone has seen his unbelievable abilities as a player, but what I also saw is what an amazing teammate he is on a daily basis,” Crean said. “I’ve been a head coach for 21 years and coaching college basketball for 31 years. He is without a doubt one of the best teammates I’ve been around. I’d put him up there with all the best I’ve had the privilege of coaching because he really, really cares about his teammates. He wants for them to be successful.”

Edwards was named SEC Freshman of the Year in balloting of both league coaches and the Associated Press. He was honored as the SEC Freshman of the Week a school-record four times. Edwards was one of five finalists for the Jerry West National Shooting Guard of the Year Award and was tabbed the Georgia College Player of the Year by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, the Bulldogs’ ninth honoree and the fourth in the last five years.

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