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Cyclones’ Niang, Abdel Nader selected in NBA draft

Georges Niang
Georges Niang

AMES, IOWA – All-Big 12. All-American. Karl Malone Award Winner. Now former Iowa State star Georges Niang can add NBA draft pick to his already incredible résumé. Niang was selected by the Indiana Pacers in the second round with the No. 50 pick of tonight’s NBA Draft, which was held in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Niang, a Methuen, Massachusetts, native, went from lightly recruited when he committed to Iowa State to NBA Draft pick because of his dedication to improving his craft, which features a unique skillset.

He concluded his career as Iowa State’s second all-time leading scorer (2,228) and was just the fourth Division I college basketball player since 1994-95 to accumulate 2,000 points, 700 rebounds and 400 assists in a career. He averaged 20.5 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists as a senior, becoming a consensus All-American and taking home the Karl Malone Award, which is given annually to the nation’s top power forward.

Iowa State’s career wins leader (98), Niang also ranked third in field goals made (849), fourth in career 3-pointers made (188), 10th in assists (421), 11th in rebounds (714), 12th in free throws made (342) and 14th in blocks (67).

Niang is the 36th former Cyclone to be drafted in the NBA and the first since Royce White was selected in the 2012 draft. Iowa State has had nine NBA draft picks since the Big 12 was formed in 1996-97, the third-best total in the league.

Iowa State forward Abdel Nader gave Iowa State two players drafted when the Boston Celtics selected the former Cyclone in the second round of the NBA Draft with the No. 58 pick.

With Nader joining teammate Georges Niang (No. 50, Indiana Pacers) among the drafted players, it marks the seventh time that Iowa State has had multiple players selected and just the second time in the current two-round format.

Nader, a Skokie, Illinois native, had a breakthrough season for Iowa State as a senior. He increased his scoring from 5.8 points as a junior to 12.9 points in his final season in Ames, while also increasing his efficiency by shooting a career high 48.7 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from 3-point range.

Nader earned All-Big 12 honorable mention accolades as a senior after scoring in double figures 22 times in 2015-16. He posted seven games with 20 or more points, including a season and career-high 26 points at Baylor. Nader drilled the game-winning 3-pointer with 11 seconds left at Cincinnati and scored 20 points, making 10-of-12 free throws, as ISU beat Oklahoma for its second-ever win against a No. 1 team.

Nader is the 37th former Cyclone to be drafted in the NBA. Iowa State has had 10 NBA draft picks since the Big 12 was formed in 1996-97, the third-best total in the league.

With Niang and Nader being drafted tonight, ISU head coach Steve Prohm has had four of his players selected in the NBA Draft in five seasons as a head coach.

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