basketball hoop in basketball court
Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

    Each summer, the National Basketball Association’s annual Draft shines a light on the top college and international players looking to enter the pros—and it also affords professional teams the opportunity to improve their roster by bringing in young talent and strengthening the key offensive and defensive skills necessary to put together a winning record. Presently, the draft consists of two rounds, and qualifying players must either be college graduates or have declared their intent to refuse further college eligibility (in the case of underclassmen) in order to enter. International players of at least 22 years of age can also qualify, while those younger must adhere to the underclassmen rule of declaring their own eligibility.

    The organization and rulemaking for the NBA Draft have changed somewhat since the process began in 1947; the most significant change in recent years came in 2006, when it was decided by the league that high school players would no longer be eligible immediately following graduation, but must instead wait one year and reach age 19 before becoming eligible. Known as the “one-and-done rule,” this shift in drafting policy remains controversial; in fact, the league is aiming for the 2022 draft as a forum to do away with the rule and reduce the age of eligibility to 18, thus allowing high school players to enter immediately after graduation, with no gap year requirement.

    It is interesting to think that, had the one-and-done come into play earlier, top draft picks like LeBron James (2003) and Dwight Howard (2004) might have instead opted for a college career before going pro, changing the landscape of the league during those years of absence. Yet, rule-changing notwithstanding, the NBA Draft retains its power to change the face of the game and help ailing teams transform themselves into championship contenders.

    With the next draft set for June 23, 2022, Stacker compiled a list of the highest NBA draft picks from Rhode Island, using data from Basketball-Reference.com. Before the 2022 draft class is decided, take a look back at the top picks from your neck of the woods down through NBA history.

    #10. Tony Britto (C)
    – Born: Providence, Rhode Island
    – Draft pick: #212 overall in 1982
    – Drafted by: Chicago Bulls
    – University: Campbell
    – Years in NBA: 0

    #9. Bob Reitz (G)
    – Born: Warwick, Rhode Island
    – Draft pick: #114 overall in 1983
    – Drafted by: Boston Celtics
    – University: Stonehill College
    – Years in NBA: 0

    #8. Al Lopes (F)
    – Born: Providence, Rhode Island
    – Draft pick: #103 overall in 1966
    – Drafted by: Baltimore Bullets
    – University: Kansas
    – Years in NBA: 0

    #7. Owen Wells (SF)
    – Born: Providence, Rhode Island
    – Draft pick: #77 overall in 1974
    – Drafted by: Houston Rockets
    – University: Detroit Mercy
    – Years in NBA: 1

    #6. Joe Hassett (SG)
    – Born: Providence, Rhode Island
    – Draft pick: #52 overall in 1977
    – Drafted by: Seattle SuperSonics
    – University: Providence
    – Years in NBA: 6

    #5. George Ferguson (F)
    – Born: Providence, Rhode Island
    – Draft pick: #51 overall in 1957
    – Drafted by: Minneapolis Lakers
    – University: Michigan
    – Years in NBA: 0

    #4. Tom Garrick (SG)
    – Born: West Warwick, Rhode Island
    – Draft pick: #45 overall in 1988
    – Drafted by: Los Angeles Clippers
    – University: Rhode Island
    – Years in NBA: 4

    #3. Ricky Ledo (SG)
    – Born: Providence, Rhode Island
    – Draft pick: #43 overall in 2013
    – Drafted by: Milwaukee Bucks
    – University: Providence
    – Years in NBA: 2

    #2. Ernie DiGregorio (PG)
    – Born: North Providence, Rhode Island
    – Draft pick: #3 overall in 1973
    – Drafted by: Buffalo Braves
    – University: Providence
    – Years in NBA: 5

    #1. Marvin Barnes (PF)
    – Born: Providence, Rhode Island
    – Draft pick: #2 overall in 1974
    – Drafted by: Philadelphia 76ers
    – University: Providence
    – Years in NBA: 4

This story was written by Stacker and has been re-published pursuant to a CC BY-NC 4.0 License. See the original story on Stacker here.

Stacker

This story was written by Stacker and has been re-published pursuant to a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

Founded in 2017, Stacker combines data analysis with rich editorial context, drawing on authoritative sources and subject matter experts to drive storytelling.