Rickert stays in Minneapolis

Former Gophers forward Rick Rickert is staying in Minneapolis, at least for the time being. His new playing address will be just a few miles west of Williams Arena.

The Minnesota Timberwolves drafted former Gophers forward Rick Rickert in the second round of the 2003 NBA Draft Thursday night in New York.

Rickert, a graduate of Duluth East High School, played two years for coach Dan Monson's Gophers before declaring himself eligible for the NBA Draft. As a sophomore last year, he earned All-Big Ten first-team honors from the conference coaches and was a second-team selection by the media.

The 6-foot-11 Rickert averaged 15.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game last year, and he scored in double figures in 19 straight games. He led the Gophers in scoring for the second straight year after posting 14.2 points per game as a freshman.

Rickert's decision to leave school was questioned by some NBA observers, who felt he wasn't ready to play at the next level. Earlier in the day, the hot speculation was that Rickert might even go undrafted. The Timberwolves saved him from that fate by taking him with the 55th pick overall, three picks from the end of the draft.

Former Gophers center Jerry Holman of Richfield was not drafted and now is a free agent.

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