BREAKING: Walker Kessler selected by Grizzlies in first round of NBA draft

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While his teammate Jabari Smith may have been drafted in the top three of Thursday’s NBA draft, center Walker Kessler wasn’t going to slip out of the first round.

Kessler was selected with the 22nd overall pick in the first round by the Memphis Grizzlies. With the selection, Kessler becomes the 12th Auburn Tiger to be selected in the first round of the NBA draft, the most recent one being his teammate earlier in the evening.

Kessler originally played for North Carolina out of high school, where he averaged 8.8 minutes per game and only 4.4 points per game. His decision to come to Auburn turned out to be a lucrative one for him, as he would average 25.6 minutes, 11.4 points and 4.6 blocks per game on his way to being named the best defensive player in college basketball for the 2021-22 season.

With Kessler selected in the first round as well, Tigers coach Bruce Pearl certainly has built up an impressive resume of developed talent heading to the NBA. He and his staff will be sure to use that in the recruiting process going forward, and Smith and Kessler contributing to their new teams would only make Pearl’s job as a head coach that much easier.

List

Every Auburn basketball player drafted in first round of NBA Draft