Former University of Miami standout guard Lonnie Walker IV was selected by the San Antonio Spurs with the 18th pick of the 2018 NBA Draft Thursday.
Walker IV is tied for Miami’s second-highest draft pick ever – Rick Barry was taken No. 2 in the 1965 draft. Former Hurricanes star and current Boston Celtics guard Shane Larkin was also taken No. 18 back in the 2013 draft.
“It’s extravagant,” Walker said on ESPN. “I can only thank my mom and dad and family and friends.”
The All-ACC freshman team selection averaged 11.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists in his lone season in Coral Gables.
“Day in and day out, I’m always going to progress as a man on and off the court,” the Reading, Pennsylvania, native said.
Hurricanes coach Jim Larrañaga and his staff were in attendance at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. In Reading, thousands of people crowded at the FirstEnergy Stadium to watch their hometown hero get drafted.
Walker’s UM teammate Bruce Brown Jr. was picked by the Detroit Pistons in the second round with the No. 42 selection. It is just the third time in program history — and the first time since 1970 — that two Miami players were selected in the same NBA draft.
“I’m not supposed to be here … A kid from Boston and I made it,” Brown told The Boston Globe. “I definitely want to prove myself. I think teams that passed on me will know during my career that they had a miss.”
As a sophomore, Brown averaged 11.4 points and a team-high 7.1 rebounds before suffering a season-ending left foot injury.
“He’s just a lovable kid,” Larrañaga said before the draft. “He’s fun to be around, he’s a great teammate and a great friend. He just smiles all the time, practices hard every day and wants to get better.”
Miami has had 20 NBA Draft selections previously, including four prior picks in the first round. Walker and Brown are the third and fourth draft picks at Miami under Larrañaga, joining Larkin and Davon Reed.
It is just the fifth time in program history that Miami players have been selected in back-to-back NBA Drafts. Reed was picked 32nd overall last season by the Phoenix Suns with the second pick of the second round.