The 2017 NBA Draft tips off on Thursday evening, and when the evening is over, point guard Jawun Evans will likely be the 33rd Oklahoma State player to hear his name called.
There have been some notable Cowboys drafted in recent years including Marcus Smart, Tony Allen and Desmond Mason. What you might not know is that Oklahoma State has a long history with the NBA Draft, going all the way to the beginning.
In 1947, in the very first Basketball Association of America (BAA) draft, the organization that would become the NBA, Cowboy great Bob Kurland was selected 37th in the fourth round by the St. Louis Bombers. Kurland, of course, helped Oklahoma A&M and coaching great Henry Iba win back-to-back NCAA Championships in 1945 and 1946.
He was followed by teammate A.L. Bennett a year later, who also went 37th in the fourth round, and was drafted by the Providence Steamrollers, though he never played a game for them.
Fast forward to the 90’s when a run of famous Cowboy players were drafted in the league, beginning in 1991 with Richard Dumas. Dumas was selected 46th overall in the second round by the Phoenix Suns. Dumas was followed by Byron Houston (1992 by Golden State), Corey Williams (1992 by Chicago), Brooks Thompson (1994 by Orlando) and Bryant “Big Country” Reeves (1995 by Vancouver).
(Ironically, the biggest name Cowboy to play in the NBA during this time went undrafted. New Yorks Knicks great John Starks had a 13 year NBA career that included eight years in New York as well as stops with Golden State, Chicago, and Utah.)
A five year absence of Cowboys in the NBA Draft ended when Seattle selected Desmond Mason 17th overall in 2000. That began OSU’s most successful run in the draft since the 1950’s with seven players taken over a 14 year period.
2000 - Desmond Mason | 17th | Seattle SuperSonics
2004 - Tony Allen | 27th | Boston Celtics
2005 - Joey Graham | 16th | Toronto Raptors
2007 - JamesOn Curry | 51st | Chicago Bulls
2010 - James Anderson | 20th | San Antonio Spurs
2014 - Marcus Smart | 6th | Boston Celtics
2014 - Markel Brown | 44th | Brooklyn Nets
Those are the names most fans will recognize and include the two former Cowboys with the most successful NBA careers in Desmond Mason and Tony Allen, and one in Marcus Smart, who looks like he is destined for a long career.
Check out the full list of 32 players previously drafted. (* = first round pick)
1947 - Bob Kurland | St. Louis Bombers
1948 - A.L. Bennett | Providence Steamrollers
1949 - J.L. Parks | Indianapolis Olympians
1949 - Bob Harris | Fort Wayne Pistons
1950 - Jack Shelton | Boston Celtics
1951 - Gale McArthur | Minneapolis Lakers
1952 - Don Johnson | Boston Celtics
1953 - Kendall Sheets | Rochester Royals
1954 - Bob Mattick | Milwaukee Hawks
1957 - Mel Wright | Rochester Royals
1965 - Jim King | Detroit Pistons
1967- Gary Poulk | Philadelphia Sixers
1969 - Joe Smith | Los Angeles Lakers
1972 - Mike Jefferies | Cincinnati Royals
1980 - Don Youman | Washington Bullets
1980 - Ed Odom | San Diego Clippers
1983 - Lorenza Andrews | Kansas City Kings
1983 - Matt Clark | Utah Jazz
1984 - Raymond Crenshaw | Phoenix Suns
1985 - Joe Atkinson | Portland Trailblazers
1991 - Richard Dumas | Phoenix Suns
1992 - *Byron Houston | Chicago Bulls
1993 - Corey Williams | Chicago Bulls
1994 - *Brooks Thompson | Orlando Magic
1995 - *Bryant Reeves | Vancouver Grizzlies
2000 - *Desmond Mason | Seattle Supersonics
2004 - *Tony Allen | Boston Celtics
2005 - *Joey Graham | Toronto Raptors
2007 - JamesOn Curry | Chicago Bulls
2010 - *James Anderson | San Antonio Spurs
2014 - *Marcus Smart | Boston Celtics
2014 - Markel Brown | Brooklyn Nets
Where do you think the Jawun Evans will end up? Let us know in the comments and stay with CRFF before, during and after the 2017 NBA Draft!