This Thursday, the University of Kentucky will have it’s first number one NBA draft pick taken in school history. Something that likely doesn’t come as a surprise to the big blue faithful, but something that it would seem should have already happened. Still, it’s big news. What’s even bigger news, is this will put Kentucky on a list with nine other programs that have had a number one draft pick in both the NFL and the NBA. The list looks like this.
Indiana (NBA: Kent Benson 1977, NFL: Corbett Davis 1938)
LSU (NBA: Shaq 1992, NFL: JaMarcus Russel 2007)
Michigan (NBA: Cazzie Russell 1966, Chris Webber 1993, NFL: Jake Long 2008)
Michigan State (NBA: Magic Johnson 1979, NFL: Bubba Smith 1967)
NC State (NBA: David Thompson 1975, NFL: Roman Gabriel 1962 AFL)
Notre Dame (NBA: Austin Carr 1971, NFL:Angelo Bertelli 1944, Frank Dancewicz 1946, Leon Hart 1950, Paul Hornung 1957, Walt Patulski 1972)
Ohio State (NBA: Greg Oden 2007, NFL: Tom Cousineau 1979, Dan Wilkinson 1994, Orlando Pace 1997)
Syracuse (NBA: Derrick Coleman 1990, NFL: Ernie Davis 1962)
Utah (NBA: Andrew Bogut 2005, NFL: Alex Smith 2005)
Kentucky (NBA: John Wall 2010, NFL: Tim Couch 1999)
Overall, just a pretty cool factoid. Here’s to hoping (and knowing,) that John Wall has a better career than JaMarcus Russel. Hat tip to my friend Taylor Shelton for figuring this out for us.