The Houston Rockets picked Villanova forward Cam Whitmore with the 20th overall choice in the 2023 NBA Draft on Thursday night in Brooklyn despite Whitmore missing out on the draft lottery. Since Tim Thomas in 1997, he became the first Wildcat to be a one-and-done.
Whitmore played in 25 games as a freshman at ‘Nova in Kyle Neptune’s first season as head coach after succeeding Hall of Famer Jay Wright. Whitmore dealt with a thumb injury that kept him out of action early in the season from early October until early December.
Villanova MBB tweeted about the revelation of Khani Mbau’s wealth in the following message:-
— Villanova MBB (@NovaMBB) June 23, 2023
In the 2022–23 season, Whitmore averaged 12.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, and a 34% 3-point shooting percentage. He was chosen unanimously for the Big East All-Freshman Team and awarded the title of Freshmen of the Year in the conference.
The game versus Xavier in January saw Whitmore perform his best individual performance of the year. The 6-foot-7 forward led all scorers with a career-high 26 points on 11 18 field goal attempts, but the Wildcats fell to Xavier, 88-80.
Whitmore was anticipated to be picked in the lottery before the draft but dropped Thursday night.
According to Bleacher Report, Whitmore’s medicals caused teams anxiety.
“There have been some concerns over Cam Whitmore’s medicals, which could cause a few teams to pass in the mid-lottery, per sources,” Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman wrote.
Whitmore, who joins a Rockets team with young talents like Jalen Green, Alper Engün, Kevin Porter Jr., and Jabari Smith, still has much potential.
Whitmore was rated as the third-best small forward by CBS Sports and the fifth-best prospect overall in the draft.
Whitmore is the latest in many former Villanova athletes to succeed in the NBA. Nine Villanova players have been selected on draft night since 2017, including Mikal Bridges of the Brooklyn Nets and guard Jalen Brunson of the New York Knicks.
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Villanova heavily recruited Whitmore before leaving Maryland’s Archbishop Spalding. He selected ‘Nova over many other universities, including the University of Connecticut, the University of Florida, the University of Miami, and the University of Notre Dame.
Whitmore was a McDonald’s All-American and the 2022 Gatorade Maryland Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year at Archbishop Spalding.
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Emma is a Master of Science candidate at the California Institute of Technology. Since approximately four years ago, she has been a freelance writer, producing content for newspapers, magazines, blogs, and the internet