The Detroit Pistons announced today that the club has selected Henry Ellenson with the 18th pick in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft held on Thursday, June 23. The club also selected Michael Gbinije (Ben-ih-jhay) with the 49th pick in the second round.
Ellenson, a 6-foot-11 forward from Marquette, averaged 17.0 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.5 blocks and 33.5 minutes in 33 games last season. The first freshman to make the All-Big East First Team since Carmelo Anthony of Syracuse in 2002-03, Ellenson was named unanimous Big East Rookie of the Year and established himself as Marquette’s all-time freshman leader in scoring and rebounding. A Karl Malone Award Finalist as the nation’s top forward and a Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award Finalist as the nation’s top freshman, Ellenson won eight weekly Big East accolades matching the third-best total in conference history. He was also named to the Big East All-Freshman Team.
A native of Rice Lake, Wis., Ellenson won a gold medal with Team USA at the FIBA U-17 World Championships, averaging 8.7 points and 5.1 rebounds in 12.0 minutes and helping the squad to a 7-0 record. At Rice Lake, Ellenson averaged 27.4 points, 12.0 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and 1.8 assists as a senior, leading his team to the state championship for the second consecutive year. He was selected to participate in the McDonald’s All-American Game, Jordan Brand Classic and Nike Hoop, but missed each event due to injury.
Gbinije averaged 11.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 29.2 minutes in 101 career games at Syracuse. Last season, he averaged a career-high 17.5 points, a career-high 4.3 assists, 4.1 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 37.9 minutes in 37 games, including the NCAA tournament. As a senior, the 6-foot-7 guard was named to the All-ACC First Team and ACC All-Defensive Team. A native of Hartford, Conn., Gbinije scored in double-digits in all 34 regular-season games, including a career-high 34 points against North Carolina State on Senior Day.