The only other player we know of who was selected by the NBA was Elk Grove High School star Bill Cartwright. The 7-1 center who played his college basketball at the University of San Francisco was the top draft pick, the third selection overall, in the 1979 Draft by the New York Knicks. He played in the pros for 15 seasons including six years with Michael Jordan, Scotty Pippen and the Chicago Bulls.
To the best of our knowledge in the 35 years since, there have been a number of EGUSD basketball players go to the collegiate ranks, but none were drafted by the NBA. Even DeMarcus Nelson, who graduated ten years ago from Sheldon as the leading scorer in the State and went on to play at Duke, was a free agent signing by Golden State in 2008.
|Ex-Pleasant Grove guard Xavier Thames|
Nelson played only 13 games with the Warriors, was sent to Bakersfield in the D-League and then released by Golden State. He was signed at the end of the 08-09 season by Chicago, but did not play for the Bulls. Nelson was released by the Bulls in July of 2009.
Thames was the 59th, the next-to-the-last pick, of last week's NBA Draft. He was drafted by the Raptors, but his rights were sent to the Brooklyn Nets. In his final season with San Diego State, Thames averaged 17.6 points and 3.2 assists a game.
Thames told Newsday in New York that he's looking forward to teaming with Deron Williams in the Nets' backcourt.
"I played against him. He might not remember," Thames told Newsday on Saturday, "but I remember because he's De- ron Williams. But when he was in San Diego a few summers back, I got a chance to see him up close and personal, one of the best point guards in the NBA. So I'm just blessed and thankful that I get to play with him and a Hall of Fame coach in Jason Kidd. So it's just great."