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Historic night for Penn State basketball in NBA Draft

After a historic season, Jalen Pickett and Seth Lundy helped set one more milestone for Penn State basketball in Thursday’s NBA Draft.



Penn State basketball, Jalen Pickett, Seth Lundy, NBA Draft
Penn State's Jalen Pickett attempts a shot over Texas's Timmy Allen during an NCAA men's basketball tournament second round basketball game on Saturday, March 18, 2023, at Wells Fargo Arena, in Des Moines, Iowa.

The 2022-23 season was a historic year for Penn State basketball. After playing in the Big Ten Tournament Championship for only the second time in program history, the Nittany Lions made the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011. Once there, Penn State won its first March Madness game since 2001. Leading the way on the hardwood all season, standouts Jalen Pickett and Seth Lundy made one final piece of history for the Nittany Lions Thursday night with their selections in the 2023 NBA Draft.

Jalen Pickett and Seth Lundy made Penn State basketball history with NBA Draft selections

Thursday night, both Jalen Pickett and Seth Lundy were selected in the second round of the 2023 NBA Draft. This marks the first time two Penn State basketball players were picked in the same NBA Draft. In total, Pickett and Lundy are only the 14th and 15th Nittany Lions ever taken in the NBA Draft.

Jalen Pickett heard his name called first, going 32nd overall to the Denver Nuggets. Coming off a season where he became the program’s first All-American in nearly 70 years, Pickett set another milestone Thursday, becoming the highest-drafted Penn State player in the modern era of the two-round NBA Draft (started in 1989). In a unique twist, Pickett sets this milestone with the help of the man who previously laid claim to the honor, Calvin Booth. Booth, now the General Manager of the Nuggets, helped lead Denver to an NBA championship earlier this month.

Fourteen picks later, Seth Lundy was taken 46th overall by the Atlanta Hawks. The selection caps off a career-best season for Lundy, where he averaged over 14 points and six rebounds per game. Lundy now joins Tom Hovasse as the only two Nittany Lions to ever play for the Hawks.

With the selections, Pickett and Lundy become the first Nittany Lions taken in the NBA Draft since Tony Carr in 2018. The duo will now join Lamar Stevens as the only active former Penn State players in the NBA. A standout during his time in Happy Valley in his own right, Stevens took to Twitter last night to congratulate Pickett and Lundy, saying in part, “[It] gives me chills to see the success we’ve had individually and as a team.”

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Matt is a co-owner and Editor in Chief of Basic Blues Nation. Launched in 2022, Basic Blues Nation is one of the fastest-growing websites covering all Penn State athletics, with over 3.5 million readers in 2023. Matt is also a credentialed member of the Penn State football beat, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America.


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