June 27, 2013
Brooklyn, N.Y. --- Tony Snell's lifelong dream was realized, and now the former Lobo star will suit up for the Chicago Bulls after the team drafted him No. 20 in the first round. Snell becomes the highest Lobo hoops draft pick since Danny Granger went No. 17 to Indiana.
Snell is the eighth first round draft choice in Lobo history, and the sixth since 1991, when Luc Longley was drafted seventh by the Minnesota Timberwolves. J.R. Giddens was the last first rounder for the program, going 30th to the Boston Celtics in 2008.
"It's an exciting day for Tony," said UNM head coach Craig "Noodles" Neal. "I'm so proud of him and extremely happy for him and his family! He has represented himself and our University in a first class manner!" Neal added, "Great things happen to great people, and Tony is a tremendous young man."
The choice caps off a historic year for the university, as it marks the first time in school history the school has had first round draft choices in three separate sports in the same year. Blake Smith was a first round choice in the MLS draft (No. 8 to Montreal), and DJ Peterson was selected in the first round (No. 12) by Seattle.
Snell was a third team All-Mountain West selection last year, but he starred in the Mountain West Tournament, earning MVP honors as he led UNM to a second straight Mountain West Tournament title and a second straight NCAA berth. He averaged 12.5 points and led UNM with 64 three-pointers. For his career, he averaged 9.2 points, scoring 952 points in his career. He shot .380 from three-point range, hitting 165 for his career.
An excellent ball-handler, Snell had 213 career assists, including 101 this past season.
Snell was the second Mountain West player drafted in the first round, after Anthony Bennett of UNLV went first overall to Cleveland. Since 2000 (the inception of the Mountain West), the league is now tied with the SEC for the most overall number 1 selections with two, as Andrew Bogut was the No. 1 pick out of Utah in 2005.
Notes: At one point after the draft, Tony Snell was ranked ninth on Twitter's worldwide trend list.
LOBOS IN THE NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION DRAFT Year Player Pos. Rd./Pk Team Years at UNM 2013 Tony Snell G 1/20 Chicago Bulls 2010-13 2010 Darington Hobson G 2/37 Milwaukee Bucks 2009-10 2008 J.R. Giddens G 1/30 Boston Celtics 2006-08 2005 Danny Granger F 1/17 Indiana Pacers 2003-05 1999 Kenny Thomas F 1/22 Houston Rockets 1996-99 1997 Charles Smith G 1/26 Miami Heat 1993-97 1991 Luc Longley C 1/7 Minnesota Timberwolves 1987-91 1987 Kelvin Scarborough G 6/123 Denver Nuggets 1983-87 1986 Johnny Brown F 7/146 Los Angeles Clippers 1984-86 1984 Tim Garrett F 7/145 Washington Bullets 1982-84 1984 Phil Smith G 4/89 Detroit Pistons 1980-84 1981 Kenny Page F 5/96 Cleveland Cavaliers 1979-81 1980 Larry Belin C 5/102 Portland Trail Blazers 1978-79 1980 Everette Jefferson G 6/130 Houston Rockets 1978-80 1979 Phil Abney F 6/113 New York Knicks 1977-79 1979 Russell Saunders G 10/200 Kansas City Kings 1977-79 1978 Michael Cooper G 3/60 Los Angeles Lakers 1976-78 1978 Willie Howard F 7/139 New Orleans Jazz 1977-78 1978 Marvin Johnson F 2/31 Chicago Bulls 1976-78 1974 Bernard Hardin F 5/74 Portland Trail Blazers 1972-74 1973 Darryl Minniefield F 4/53 Philadelphia 76ers 1971-73 1971 Willie Long C 2/35 Cleveland Cavaliers 1968-71 1970 Ron Becker F 10/168 Baltimore Bullets 1967-70 1970 Greg Howard F 1/10 Phoenix Suns 1967-69 1969 Ron Sanford F 4/51 Cincinnati Royals 1967-69 1968 Ron Nelson G 3/26 Baltimore Bullets 1966-68 1967 Mel Daniels F 1/9 Cincinnati Royals 1964-67 1967 Ben Monroe F 12/127 Los Angeles Lakers 1965-67 1967 Bill Morgan F 11/119 San Francisco Warriors 1965-67 1964 Ira Harge C 2/11 Philadelphia 76ers 1962-64 1956 Toby Roybal G NA New York Knicks 1953-54, 1955-56