Louisville duo taken in NBA Draft lottery

Two former Louisville stars struck it big in the National Basketball Association draft. Terrence Williams and Earl Clark were both selected in the NBA Draft lottery Thursday night in New York.

The last time Louisville had two first round NBA Draft selections in the same year - 1994. That was the year Clifford Rozier and Greg Minor crashed the first round.

Thursday night, former Cardinal forwards Terrence Williams and Earl Clark were selected in the first round of the 2009 NBA Draft.

"I'm so excited for both young men who have seen their dreams become a reality," said U of L Coach Rick Pitino, who attended the draft ceremonies in New York. "(New Jersey Nets President) Rod Thorn is close friend and I'm so happy that T-Will has an opportunity to play for the Nets. And for Earl, it doesn't get any better than being drafted by the Suns because they play a perfect style of play for him and they're a super organization. I couldn't be any happier for both young men and their families."

Williams was selected by the New Jersey Nets with the 11th overall pick. Williams, 6-6, 214, led Louisville to a 31-6 record and an NCAA Elite Eight appearance as a senior. He averaged 12.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and five assists, earning first team All-Big East honors last year.

One of the most popular and charismatic players in Louisville history, Williams was joined at the NBA Draft in Madison Square Garden by Louisville coach Rick Pitino. He was the first college senior selected in the 2009 NBA Draft.

"I am in a great market with New Jersey," Williams said after being selected. "I learned great from coach P (Rick Pitino) so I can learn great in New Jersey and go from there and practice every day."

Clark, a versatile 6-foot-9 forward, was selected by the Phoenix Suns with the 14th overall pick. He left Louisville after his junior season, averaging 14.2 points and eight rebounds per game. Clark impressed the Suns, who like his ability to defend the perimeter and in the post, during a workout on Saturday.

U of L has had two first round selections in the same year twice previously: 1989 with Pervis Ellison (first overall selection in the 1989 draft) and Kenny Payne (19th overall) and in 1994 with Clifford Rozier (16th) and Greg Minor (25th). Williams is the highest U of L player selected in the draft since Samaki Walker was the ninth overall choice in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks. Williams was the first college senior selected in the draft this year and U of L was the only school with two lottery picks.

Louisville has had 59 players selected in the NBA Draft, including Pervis Ellison, the top pick in 1989.

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