Francisco Garcia, who capped three basketball seasons at the University of Louisville by helping the Cardinals reach the 2005 NCAA Final Four, was selected by the Sacramento Kings in the first round of the 2005 National Basketball Association Draft on Tuesday.
Garcia was the 23rd selection overall, the Cardinals' second first-round pick in the last two years. Reece Gaines, who ranks fourth on the Cardinals career scoring list with 1,945 points and is currently with the Milwaukee Bucks, was the 15th selection overall by the Orlando Magic in the 2003 NBA Draft. Garcia is the 11th first round NBA Draft pick that U of L Coach Rick Pitino has coached in the collegiate ranks.
Garcia was honored on the NABC All-America second team and was named to the John R. Wooden All-America team as a junior in leading the Cardinals to a 33-5 record, U of L's eighth Final Four appearance and a Conference USA regular season and tournament championship. He averaged a team-leading 15.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.7 steals while earning first team All-Conference USA honors as a senior, was a member of the Conference USA All-Decade team and was the USBWA District 4 Player of the Year.
Garcia ranks among Louisville's career leaders in three-point goals (180, fourth), free throw percentage (.849, third), blocked shots (134, eighth), and scoring (1,413, No. 23). He was a double-figure scorer on 73 occasions in his career, topping the 20-point mark 22 times. He earned a silver medal in the 2003 Pan American Games while playing on the national team for his native country of the Dominican Republic.