Lakers Draft Ronny Turiaf
June 28, 2005
NEW YORK - The Los Angeles Lakers made Gonzaga University standout Ronny Turiaf the 37th pick of the National Basketball Association Draft on Tuesday.
Turiaf, a 6-10, 249-pounder who was the West Coast Conference Player of the Year this past season, became the fourth Bulldog drafted since 2002. The native of Le Robert, Martinique, averaged 15.9 ppg and 9.5 rpg for the Bulldogs in 2005, helping the Zags to a seventh straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. He was also a two-time Associated Press honorable mention All-America selection.
Earlier in the night the Lakers had taken 17-year-old high schooler Andrew Bynum with the 10th pick of the first round, and followed the selection of Turiaf by taking Florida State University guard Von Wafer with the 39th pick.
Turiaf became the fourth Gonzaga player to be drafted by the Lakers. Jean Claude Lefebvre was drafted by the Minneapolis Lakers as the 64th pick overall and the second pick of the ninth round in 1960. Frank Burgess was taken by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1961 as the 27th pick overall and the fourth pick of the third round. Paul Rogers was the last Bulldog drafted by the Lakers in 1997, taken as the 54th pick overall and the 25th pick of the second round as the NBA Draft had evolved to a two-round draft.
Turiaf is the 15th player in Gonzaga history to be drafted. Since 2002 the Bulldogs have had Dan Dickau taken as the 28th pick in the first round by the Sacramento Kings in 2002, Richie Frahm taken in last years' expansion draft by the Charlotte Bobcats and Blake Stepp selected as the 58th pick overall and the 29th pick of the second round last season by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
John Stockton is the highest drafted Bulldog in the history of the draft, going as the 16th overall pick by the Utah Jazz in 1984. Dickau is the only other Bulldog taken in the first round. Rogers, Stepp and now Turiaf are the only second-round picks in Gonzaga history, with Burgess the next highest selection with his third round pick.
Stockton, who finished a 19-year NBA career with the Utah Jazz following the 2003 season; Mike Champion with the Seattle Sonics in 1988-89; Dickau with the Atlanta Hawks, Portland Trail Blazers and now as a member of the New Orleans Hornets, and Frahm with Seattle and this past season with Portland are the Bulldogs to play in the NBA.
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