June 26, 1997
Villanova Wins Out in Draft
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - At Wednesday night's NBA Draft in Charlotte, N.C., Villanova University had three players selected in the draft's two rounds, leading all colleges in that category.
With the seventh pick in the first round, the New Jersey Nets drafted Wildcat freshman forward Tim Thomas, although he is rumored to be moving to the Philadelphia 76er's in a trade that would send Thomas along with guard Jimmy Jackson and center Eric Montross to the 76er's for their first round choice (the second pick) in Utah forward Keith Van Horn, veteran center Michael Cage, forward Don Maclean and guard Lucious Harris.
In the second round, Villanova center Jason Lawson was selected 42nd by the Denver Nuggets who promptly traded his rights to the Orlando Magic for Alabama guard Eric Washington, who was drafted with the 47th pick, and a second round selection in 1999. Lawson, Villanova's all-time blocked shots leader, was the Big East Defensive Player-of-the-Year this past season.
Shortly thereafter, Villanova point guard Alvin Williams was selected by the Portland Trailblazers with the 48th pick in the second round. Williams, who along with Lawson were the first Philadelphia prep stars to sign with Villanova as freshman in more than two decades, helped lead the Wildcats to an NIT Championship, a Big East title and three NCAA Tournament appearances in their four years at the school.