Jones Selected By The Atlanta Hawks In Draft

TAMPA, Fla. (June 28, 2006) – Former University of South Florida men's basketball player Solomon Jones was selected 33rd overall by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2006 National Basketball Association Draft Wednesday night on a national television broadcast.

With the selection, Jones became the highest-ever drafted Bull and the first in 20 years.

Jones' name was announced at Madison Square Garden by NBA Deputy Commissioner Russ Granik as the third pick in the second of two rounds and 33rd overall. He was the third-straight BIG EAST player selected and one of 11 overall. Jones had been projected as either a late first round selection or second round pick.

"We are extremely excited for Solomon," USF head coach Robert McCullum said. "He has worked extremely hard to add strength and weight and has overcome a lot of doubters with his ability. I hope his selection being as high as it was speaks to player development at the collegiate level and its ability to prepare players for a professional career."

Jones (6-10, 230) is the first USF player selected in the draft since Curtis Kitchen in 1986, who was selected by Seattle in the sixth round.

The Mount Dora, Fla., native was a two-year letterwinner (2004-05 and 2005-06) for the Bulls after transferring from Daytona Beach CC. He earned Honorable Mention All-BIG EAST accolades as a senior after finishing among the league leaders in rebounding and blocked shots. Jones concluded the year averaging 13.2 points per game and 9.8 boards per game and blocked 90 shots.

Should Jones earn a spot on the regular season roster, he would be one of two former USF players currently playing in the NBA. Chucky Atkins (1993-96) currently owns a seven-year NBA career, having most-recently played for the Memphis Grizzlies during the 2005-06 campaign.

 USF Draft Picks

Player                          Year                 Team             Round

Solomon Jones              2006                 Atlanta                2nd

Curtis Kitchen                1986                 Seattle                6th

Charlie Bradley              1985                 Sacramento         3rd

Jim Grandholm              1984                 Washington         4th

Vince Reynolds             1982                 Cleveland             6th

Tony Grier                     1982                 San Antonio        4th

Willie Redden                1982                 San Antonio        3rd


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