Rockets Select Chinanu Onuaku and Zhou Qi in 2016 NBA Draft
HOUSTON – During the 2016 NBA Draft, the Houston Rockets selected forward Chinanu Onuaku (Chih-NAH-noo On-ooh-AH-koo) with the 37th overall pick and center Zhou Qi (Joe Chee) with the 43rd overall pick.
Onuaku (6-10, 245) was an early entry candidate following his sophomore season at Louisville. He averaged 9.9 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks as a sophomore and shot 61.9% from the floor for his career. Onuaku was selected ACC All-Defensive team by both media and conference coaches in 2015-16 as well as earning Honorable Mention All-ACC honors. His 10 double-doubles in conference play were the second-most by any player this past season and Onuaku recorded at least one block in all but four games, including 3+ blocks 10 times.
The 19-year-old also helped the U.S. earn a gold medal at the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship. Onuaku was teammates with Rockets forward Montrezl Harrell at Louisville in 2014-15. Chinanu’s older brother, Arinze, spent parts of two seasons in the NBA in 2013-14 and 2014-15 and also played for the Rockets single-affiliation NBA Development League partner, Rio Grande Valley, in 2010-11.
Zhou (7-1, 218) was also an early entry candidate. He spent the past two seasons playing for the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), averaging 15.1 points, 8.6 rebounds and 3.2 blocks while shooting 64.0% from the floor and 75.2% from the line. He led the CBA in blocks each season and recorded multiple blocks in 34 of his 42 games played in 2015-16. Zhou shot 9-of-15 from 3-point range this past season after shooting 1-of-10 as a rookie in 2014-15.
The 20-year-old is a member of the Chinese Senior National Team and averaged 9.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks at the 2015 FIBA Asia Championships, earning All-Tournament honors. Zhou also played for the World Team in the 2015 Nike Hoops Summit. During the 2013 FIBA U19 Championship, he averaged an event-high 5.4 blocks. At the NBA Draft Combine, Zhou was measured with a 7′ 7.75″ wingspan and a standing reach of 9' 4.5".