Former UNC forward Walker Kessler passes Hall of Famer for rookie record

Former UNC basketball forward Walker Kessler is continuing his terrific rookie season in the NBA and is setting league-rookie records along the way.

Playing for the Utah Jazz, Kessler recorded his 11th double-double with at least three blocks, third most in the NBA.

But, it’s a record that broke a mark held by a Hall of Famer that is raising eyebrows.

Kessler’s nine double-doubles this season with at least three blocks and 70% field goal percentage from the field has surpassed Shaq’s record for NBA rookies.

On the season, Kessler is averaging 8.7 points, 8.4 rebounds 2.3 blocks and 22.7 minutes per game.

He’s had six double-doubles in his last eight games. He has 18 double-doubles this season and five additional double-digit rebound games.

Walker was the No. 22 selection in the 2022 NBA draft.

“Walker is somebody that myself and the rest of the staff are constantly encouraging to just sort of let it rip,” Utah Jazz coach Will Hardy recently said about Kessler. “He’s obviously incredibly talented, he works very hard at improving, but he’s a very conscientious kid.”

Kessler played one season for UNC, averaging 4.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 8.8 minutes per game. He transferred to Auburn where he averaged 11.4 points, 8.1 rebounds, 4.6 blocks and 25.6 minutes.

Follow us @TarHeelsWire on Twitter and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of North Carolina Tar Heels news, notes and opinions.

Story originally appeared on Tarheels Wire