🏀 Jayhawks Aplenty on NBA Opening Night
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas men’s basketball players Kelly Oubre Jr., and Andrew Wiggins will be part of the first official game of the 2020-21 NBA season Tuesday, Dec. 22, while defending champion Markieff Morris plays against his twin brother Marcus Morris in the second game of the night. There are 11 Jayhawks on 2020-21 NBA opening-day rosters. The 11 KU players on NBA rosters ties for the fourth most among NCAA Division I schools.
Oubre and Wiggins play for the Golden State Warriors and will be at the Brooklyn Nets to kick off the season Tuesday at 6 p.m. (CT). Oubre is in his sixth season in the NBA and his first with Golden State. He played at Kansas in 2014-15 and was the No. 15 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. Wiggins, who played at KU in 2013-14 and was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, is in his seventh season in the league and his second with the Warriors.
The Morris twins square off in the opening-day nightcap as Markieff is with the Los Angeles Lakers and Marcus with the Los Angeles Clippers. The twins played three seasons at Kansas, from 2008-09 to 2010-11, and enter their 10th season in the NBA. Last season Markieff became the 13th Jayhawk to win an NBA title with the Lakers and he in his second season with the team. Marcus is in his second season with the Clippers as well. The Morris twins are the longest active Jayhawks in the NBA.
Ben McLemore is in his second season with the Houston Rockets and his eighth season overall. McLemore spent two seasons at KU, as a redshirt in 2011-12 and a freshman in 2012-13, and was the seventh overall selection of the 2013 NBA Draft.
Joel Embiid is a three-time NBA All-Star who is in his fifth season of playing with the Philadelphia 76ers and his seventh season overall with the organization. Embiid, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, played at KU in 2013-14.
Josh Jackson, the fourth overall selection of the 2017 NBA Draft, begins his fourth year in the NBA and his second with the Detroit Pistons.
Devonte’ Graham, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and Udoka Azubuike were members of Kansas’ most recent Final Four team in 2018. Graham is coming off a solid season with the Charlotte Hornets where he moved into a starting role and was a top contender for the 2020 NBA Most Improved Player of the Year Award. He and Mykhailiuk played at KU from 2014-15 to 2017-18 and both are in their third year in the NBA. A teammate of Jackson, Mykhailiuk begins his second full season with the Detroit Pistons. Azubuike was the 27th overall pick of the 2020 NBA Draft and is a rookie with the Utah Jazz. He was a 2020 Consensus All-America Second Team selection who was the 2020 NABC Defensive Player of the Year.
Devon Dotson, a 2020 Consensus All-America Second Team selection who played two seasons at Kansas (2018-19 and 2019-20) is also a rookie who and on the Chicago Bulls’ opening-day roster as a two-way player. When not with the Chicago Bulls, Dotson will be playing for Chicago’s G League team, the Windy City Bulls.
Frank Mason III was the 2017 consensus national player of the year his senior season at Kansas. He has signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Philadelphia 76ers and will be a part of the 76ers’ Delaware Bluecoats in the G League. Last year Mason was named the G League Most Valuable Player when he was with the Wisconsin Herd, the Milwaukee Bucks’ G League team. He was also a member of the Bucks’ team when the NBA season started back up from the pandemic in Orlando, Florida.