Former Mizzou standout Kareem Rush realized a dream Tuesday night when he was selected as the 20th pick in the 2002 NBA Draft by the Toronto Raptors. Rush became the 37th Tiger to go in the NBA Draft, and the 11th to go in the first round.
Rush was then traded to Los Angeles in a swap of first round picks along with Lindsay Hunter and Tracy Murray heading to Toronto.
Rush fills the most obvious need the Lakers had last season, if there was a need, and that was a great outside shooter.
What must intrigue Mitch Kupchak and the Lakers brass is what Kareem might be capable of doing facing single man coverage as the third option in the offense.
Rush is the second Tiger in three years to be taken in the first round of the NBA Draft under MU Head Coach Quin Snyder. He joins his former Tiger teammate Keyon Dooling, who was the 10th pick of the 2000 Draft by Orlando. The highest any Tiger has gone in the draft came when Steve Stipanovich was selected with the second pick in the 1983 Draft by the Indiana Pacers.
"Kareem is great all-around player who has the total offensive package," Snyder said. "He has been a great representative of our program and the University of Missouri. We couldn't be happier for him."
Kareem Rush's strength is his offensive game
Rush, who was an honorable mention All-American each of the last two seasons, averaged 18.9 points during his three-year Missouri career - the 4th-highest career average in MU history. He won Big 12 Conference Freshman of the Year honors in 1999-2000, led the league in scoring as a sophomore, and helped lead MU to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament as a junior. The Kansas City, Mo. native declared in April that he was bypassing his final year of collegiate eligibility to enter the NBA Draft.
Missouri's first-round picks include: 2002 - Kareem Rush (20th, Toronto Raptors); 2000 - Keyon Dooling (10th, Orlando Magic); 1992 - Anthony Peeler (15th, Los Angeles Lakers); 1991 - Doug Smith (5th, Dallas Mavericks); 1989 - Byron Irvin (22nd, Portland Trailblazers); 1988 - Derrick Chievous (16th, Houston Rockets); 1983 - Steve Stipanovich (2nd, Indiana Pacers) & Jon Sundvold (16th, Seattle Supersonics); 1980 - Larry Drew (17th, Detroit Pistons); 1974 - Al Eberhard (15th, Detroit Pistons); 1973 - John Brown (10th, Atlanta Hawks).
Kareem, Clarence & Arthur during