By John Shinn
CNHI News Service
NORMAN – The hard work paid off for Romero Osby. Late Thursday night, the former Oklahoma forward was selected by the Orlando Magic in the second round of the NBA Draft.
“I’m just overwhelmed and blessed,” said Osby, who watched the draft in his hometown of Meridan, Miss., with family and friends. “The night was filled with anxiety and nervousness over not knowing what was going to happen. I got a text message from my agent saying that Orlando was going to pick me at No. 51. I couldn’t believe it. Then ESPN went to a commercial after the 49th pick. I was like, ‘Please come back on so my parents and family can see it and hear it.’ They did, and it was great.”
Osby, who led OU to a 20-12 record this past season and to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009, was the Sooners’ first first-team All-Big 12 selection since Blake Griffin the same year. Osby led OU in scoring (16.0 points per game), rebounding (7.0 per game), blocked shots (0.8 per game) and field goal percentage (.526) this season, while also averaging 1.3 assists in 28.7 minutes a contest.
OU coach Lon Kruger, who coached the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks for three seasons, championed Osby throughout the draft process.
“Extremely happy for Romero,” Kruger said. “He’s very deserving and I know he’s excited. He’s certainly a terrific player and represented the Sooners extremely well the last three years. We couldn’t be more pleased.”
With Osby’s selection, OU has now had 46 players selected in the NBA Draft and four selected in the last five years. However, Osby is the first former Sooner taken since the Los Angeles Clippers selected Willie Warren 54th overall in 2010.
“I’d just like to thank the OU fans for all the support over the years,” Osby said. “I wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for you guys. I love Sooner Nation and I appreciate you pushing me and backing me. I’ll be a Sooner until the day I die.”