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Nelson, West Selected in First Round of 2004 NBA Draft
Courtesy: SJU Athletic Communications  
Release:  09/01/2004
NEW YORK, NY (6/24/04) -- For the first time in the history of Saint Joseph's men's basketball, two players were selected in the first round of the NBA Draft as Jameer Nelson and Delonte West each were chosen in the opening round. Nelson, who was selected by the Denver Nuggets with the 20th pick and subsequently traded to the Orlando Magic, and West, drafted 24th by the Boston Celtics, combined to form the nation's best backcourt in college basketball this season.

The last Saint Joseph's player to be drafted in the NBA First Round was Maurice Martin in 1986 as the 16th overall pick, ironically, also by the Denver Nuggets. The Hawks' other first round selections were Mike Bantom in 1973 as the eight overall pick by the Phoenix Suns and Matt Guokas as the ninth overall pick in 1966 by the Philadelphia 76ers.

Nelson was the consensus National Player of the Year and a unanimous All-America First Team selection after leading the Hawks to the 30-2 record, an undefeated regular season, the first-ever top seed in the NCAA Tournament and a berth in the NCAA Elite Eight. The 5-11 guard averaged 20.6 points and 5.3 assists per game while closing out his career as perhaps the greatest player in Hawk history. Nelson is SJU's all-time leading scorer with 2,094 points and ranks first in assists with 713. His number 14 was retired by the University in April.

West averaged 18.9 points and 4.7 assists per game, while ranking as one of the top free throw shooters in the nation at 89.2 percent. West earned Honorable Mention All-America honors in his junior season and finished his career with 1,235 points, which ranks 26th all-time.

Nelson is the first NBA Draft selection for Saint Joseph's since the New York Knicks selected Wayne Williams in the seventh round of the 1987 draft.

With Nelson and West both hearing their names called at the Madison Square Garden, it marked the first time since 1982 that multiple Hawks were taken in the Draft. In 1982, Bryan Warrick was selected by the Washington Bullets in the second round, Jeffery Clark was picked by the Indiana Pacers in the sixth round and Mark Dearborn was chosen in the ninth round by the Portland Trailblazers.

Saint Joseph's All-Time NBA Draft Picks

  • 2004-Jameer Nelson, 1st Round, Denver Nuggets (traded to Orlando)
  • 2004-Delonte West, 1st, Boston Celtics
  • 1987-Wayne Williams, 7th, New York Knickerbockers
  • 1986-Maurice Martin, 1st, Denver Nuggets
  • 1985-Bob Lojewski, 5th, Sacramento Kings
  • 1984-Kevin Springman, 3rd, Detroit Pistons
  • 1984-Tony Costner, 2nd, Washington Bullets
  • 1982-Mark Dearborn, 9th, Portland Trail Blazers
  • 1982-Jeffery Clark, 6th, Indiana Pacers
  • 1982-Bryan Warrick, 2nd, Washington Bullets
  • 1981-John Smith, 8th, Portland Trail Blazers
  • 1980-Luke Griffin, 9th, Phila. 76ers
  • 1973-Pat McFarland, 2nd, New York Knickerbockers*
  • 1973-Mike Bantom, 1st, Phoenix Suns*
  • 1970-Mike Hauer, 9th, Phila. 76ers
  • 1967-Cliff Anderson, 1st, Pittsburgh Pipers (ABA)
  • 1966-Tom Duff, 5th, Phila. 76ers
  • 1966-Matt Guokas, 1st, Phila. 76ers
  • 1964-Steve Courtin, 3rd, Cincinnati Royals
  • 1961-Jack Egan, 3rd, Phila. Warriors
  • 1961-Vince Kempton, 15th, New York Knickerbockers
  • 1960-Bob McNeill, 3rd, New York Knickerbockers
  • 1960-Bob Clarke, 7th, Phila. Warriors
  • 1960-Joe Gallo, 7th, Phila. Warriors
  • 1959-Joe Spratt, 6th, Phila. Warriors
  • 1957-Ray Radziszewski, 4th, Phila. Warriors
  • 1957-Kurt Englebert, 4th, Detroit Pistons
  • 1953-John Doogan, NA, Phila. Warriors
  • 1950-Paul Senesky, 4th, Phila. Warriors
  • *also drafted by Denver Rockets (ABA)