June 25, 2008
With the 21st pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the Hornets selected guard Darren Collison from UCLA. Collison becomes the Hornets 22nd first-round selection in the NBA Draft in the teams history.
Were thrilled to welcome Darren to the Hornets, said General Manager Jeff Bower. We know he has a lot of talent and were very confident he can contribute next season. We know hes a great leader and he had a great workout when he came in for us.
Were very excited about getting Darren Collison, said Hornets Head Coach Byron Scott. We are getting a point guard with some experience and a guy thats a proven winner, obviously, playing at UCLA and getting to the Final Four in three of his four years. Hes a guy we know can come in here and back up Chris [Paul]. Hes a great floor leader. On the defense end, he can really keep people in front of him. Hes an excellent perimeter defender and is a great fit for us.
Collison (6-0, 166) was a first-team All-Pac-10 selection in 2008-09 and won the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award which recognizes the nations best player six-feet or under. He was named to the AP All-America Third team as a junior and Honorable Mention as a senior. He finished 16th in UCLA history with 1,639 points scored and tied for first with 142 career games played.
As a senior, Collison averaged 14.4 points, 4.7 assists and 1.6 steals in 31.5 minutes in 35 games. He led the Pac-10 and was fourth in the nation in free-throw percentage (.897). He shot .509 percent from the field during his senior season. He led the Bruins to their fifth-straight appearance in the 2009 NCAA Tournament, as he finished second in UCLA history with 177 wins.
The 2009 NBA Draft marked the second time in team history that the Hornets have picked 21st. The first time the Hornets picked 21st, they selected Ricky Davis in the 1998 draft.