Onu to keep name in NBA Draft


PORTSMOUTH — Shawnee State University graduate and 2021 NAIA National Champion E.J. Onu will keep his name in the 2021 NBA Draft, as first reported by Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.

Onu, who measured out at 6-10.75 with a 7-8.5 wingspan — the latter number being the fourth-largest of any player who would’ve participated in the NBA this past season, showcased an impressive defensive display at the NBA G-League Elite Camp games, posting three blocks each in less than 20 minutes of game action for the G-League Elite Camp’s Team Two in Chicago.

Team Two was the only one of the four teams to go undefeated over the two-day stretch of games — thanks to Onu’s work on the defensive end of the floor.

From a NBA Draft Board standpoint, Onu — according to USA Today’s NBA Mock Draft 5.0 released following the completion of the NBA Draft Lottery — is projected in their mock to go to the Charlotte Hornets with the 56th overall pick.

The Hornets acquired the pick from the Los Angeles Clippers in a 2018 draft-day trade that saw the Hornets send Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to the Clippers in exchange for fellow 2018 draft pick Miles Bridges.

Along with continuing to hold a firm place in the second round in the USA Today mocks, HoopsHype moved Onu from an unranked prospect to No. 77 overall in its own list of top prospects — ahead of former blue-chip recruits Aaron Wiggins (Maryland), John Petty (Alabama) and Scottie Lewis (Florida).

In addition to Onu’s wingspan — which was easily the longest of anybody tested at the 2021 NBA G-League Elite Camp — his 9-6 standing reach was tied for the longest of any player measured, as was his 9.75-inch hand length.

At 231.6 points, Onu also posted an impressive 6.5-percent body fat.

He also was

— One of only 11 players in the camp to hit at least 70-percent of his off-the-dribble shot attempts (which took at least 21 makes in 30 attempts)

— One of 21 players who hit at least 55-percent of his shot attempts in the Star Drill

— One of 13 players who ran a 3.05-second three-quarter court sprint

The 2021 NBA Draft is set for Thursday, July 29.

Deadline for all college hopefuls to stay in the draft or return to school is Wednesday (July 7).

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