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Making the leap: Nicholson, Watt to learn pro destinations tonight

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Nicholson’s dream comes true, Watt still waits

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

When the Orlando Magic selected Andrew Nicholson 19th overall in last night’s NBA Draft, Bona nation was overjoyed.

Watch the usually-stoic Nicholson erupt in celebration after David Stern called his name (Credit YouTube user shannshep):


So much emotion from an athlete who often sports an expressionless gaze on the court and in front of the media. Honestly, it was a joy to see.

The Atlantic 10 Player of the Year rebounded from a slow start to dominate the league down the stretch, leading St. Bonaventure to its first A-10 title and NCAA Tournament since 2000. Even more noteworthy was the Magic’s decision to choose Nicholson over Ohio State power forward Jared Sullinger, the star big man from one of the top teams in the country.

With Dwight Howard rabble-rousing his way out of the Sunshine State, Nicholson could be in play for heavy minutes as a rookie. He’s prepared, too—one of four seniors taken out of the 30 first round picks, the Bona star has the back-to-the-basket game and outside range to claim a role immediately.

GoBonnies.com gathered the social media reactions leading up to Nicholson’s selection last night. An encouraging read—Olean basketball fans are all in, without a doubt.

Unfortunately for the University at Buffalo Bulls center Mitchell Watt, the MAC Player of the Year was passed over in the draft. As expected, teams picking late in the second round opted for rather obscure overseas players rather than more familiar American products—Denver’s choice of 7’1, 211 pound Turkish wonder Izzet Turkyilmaz drew collective cries of “uh, who’s that?”

I’ll update the post when Watt latches onto a team as an undrafted free agent, yet another chip on the shoulder for a player who’s battled through a debilitating disease to excel in his senior season under Reggie Witherspoon.

TAGGED: andrew nicholson, atlantic 10, mitchell watt, nba draft 2012, orlando magic, st. bonaventure basketball

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