June 26, 1997
God Shammgod was selected by Washington in the second round. |
Croshere and Shammgod Selected in NBA Draft
Croshere Goes to Indiana; Shammgod to Washington
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Providence College Friars saw two of their top players from the 1996-97 Elite Eight team selected during Wednesday's National Basketball Association draft. Senior forward Austin Croshere (Los Angeles, Cal.) was chosen in the first round with the 12th pick overall by the Indiana Pacers. Sophomore guard God Shammgod (New York, N.Y.), who opted for the draft after just two seasons at PC, was selected in the second round by the Washington Wizards with the 45th selection overall.
Croshere led the Friars in scoring during his senior year with 17.9 points per game and pulled down 7.5 rebounds per game. He was a First Team All-BIG EAST selection and the ECAC's Co-Player of the Year with Colgate's Adonal Foyle. The two-time team captain finished his Providence career ranked eighth on the all-time scoring list with 1,523 points. He saved his best until last when he scored a career high 39 points in PC's NCAA Tournament win over Marquette. Croshere was the leading scorer in the NCAA Tournament with 22.8 points per game when PC was eliminated by Arizona in the Southeast Regional Championship game.
The 6-9, 235 pound forward gets to play for one of the NBA's greatest players of all-time, Indiana's new head coach, Larry Bird. Following being picked by Indiana, Croshere said, "It was the place I wanted to end up. If you had asked me a month ago or a week ago where I wanted to be, this was the place."
Austin Croshere was the 12th pick overall. |
During his career, Croshere was a tireless worker, one who strived to improve his game every day. His tremedous work ethic raised him from a part-time player as a freshman to a number 12 pick in the NBA. "The reason I was picked 12th in the draft is that I improved every year," said the Los Angeles native. "My hard work and desire have helped me get where I am now. If I'm going to improve, it will be through that. I think I have a lot of improvement ahead and Coach Bird is the best person to get it out of me.
God Shammgod was the second Friar picked on the night going to the Washington Wizards with the 45th pick overall. "Shamm" played a major role in PC's 24-12 season. He averaged 10.8 points per game for the Friars and 6.6 assists in an outstanding sophomore year. The playmaking wizard finished his PC career ranked eighth in assists with 428 in just two seasons. His 239 dishes this year were the fifth best single season total. Blessed with tremendous quickness, Shammgod proved to be an outstanding defender and was among the national leaders with 88 steals this season. The New York native had a strong NCAA Tournament averaging 14 points per game and 7.7 assists. The former McDonald's All-American set the Providence College (189) and BIG EAST (118) freshman assist marks during the 1995-96 season.
With the Wizards, Shammgod will battle for a spot behind point guards Rod Strickland and Chris Whitney. Whitney is a free agent who has not yet signed for next season. Other guards on the Wizard roster include Calbert Cheaney and free agents Tim Legler and Jaren Jackson.
Two other Friars, seniors Derrick Brown and Ruben Garces, were also available for the draft, but were not chosen. Both are expected to be invited to team try out camps and possibly training camp in the fall. Garces was in Boston on Thursday attending a tryout camp for the Boston Celtics.