The short but memorable college career of Julius Randle may be over but now, his NBA career begins.
The Kentucky Wildcats forward was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. He’d been previously linked to the Lakers.
A great pre-draft workout was what really helped catch the Lakers’ eye, and since then, the talk of the two being united on Draft Night grew and grew.
Regarded as a Top-5 pick for the majority of the season, Randle averaged 15 points and 10.4 rebounds per game while picking up a number of awards, including SEC Freshman of the Year, while also being selected First Team All-SEC and SEC All-Freshman.
Randle was projected to hear his name called somewhere in the Top 10, so he got drafted in the range he was projected to go.
“To all the Kentucky fans, I want to thank you all for what you’ve done for me this year,” Randle said after declaring for the draft in April. “I can’t thank my coaches enough for the work they’ve done with me in helping me reach this point.
“Kentucky will always have a special place in my heart.”
Randle has spoke glowing of Lakers star and first-ballot hall of famer Kobe Bryant, whom he looks forward to being mentored under.
“He was my favorite player. I loved Kobe’s persona and swagger and how he played,” Randle said. “He was someone I always looked up to at a young age.
“It would be extremely fun. I could learn a lot from him and talk to one of the greatest, if not the greatest player of all time. There’s a lot I could learn from and pick his brain in just how to get better and dealing with adversity.”
Good luck to Julius in the NBA. Hopefully, we’ll be watching him there for a long time.
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