76ers Select Jaden Springer, Filip Petrušev, Charles Bassey in NBA Draft
The Philadelphia 76ers selected Jaden Springer (No. 28) from the University of Tennessee, Filip Petrušev of Serbia (No. 50) and Charles Bassey (No. 53) from Western Kentucky University tonight in the 2021 NBA Draft.
Springer, a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, led the Volunteers in scoring as a freshman at 12.5 points per game, while also pacing the team in three-point percentage at .435 and total free throws made with 81. His .810 free throw percentage ranked ninth in the SEC and is the highest-ever mark by a Tennessee freshman with at least 100 attempts. In 25 games during his lone collegiate season, the SEC All-Freshman Team selection posted a team-best six games of at least 20 points, also averaging 3.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.2 steals per contest. He is the son of Gary Springer, who was selected by the 76ers in the 1984 NBA Draft, and the cousin of current NBA player DeAndre’ Bembry, who played collegiately at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia.
Petrušev, the 2019-20 West Coast Conference Player of the Year, spent two seasons playing collegiately at Gonzaga before heading overseas to play in Serbia’s Adriatic League for the 2020-21 season. During his final year with the Bulldogs, he averaged 17.5 points and 7.9 rebounds while shooting .562 from the floor. This past season, he appeared in 21 games for KK Mega Basket, averaging 23.7 points, which was the highest average in the Adriatic League in 14 years, while also hauling in 7.6 rebounds per contest. During his lone season competing professionally in his home country of Serbia, he shot .580 from the field and .419 from three-point range. His averages led to league MVP honors along with the league’s Rising Star award as the top player under the age of 22.
Bassey played three collegiate seasons at Western Kentucky University, averaging a double-double with 15.9 points and 10.5 rebounds over 72 career games as a Hilltopper. As a junior this past season, he tallied 18 double-doubles, which were the second-most in Division I. Following the 2020-21 season, Bassey was named the Conference USA Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, after posting 17.6 points, 11.6 rebounds (fifth in NCAA) and 3.1 blocks (fourth in NCAA) per contest, while shooting .590 from the field. He was the fourth player in C-USA history to earn POY and DPOY honors in the same season, while also earning a C-USA record seven Player of the Week awards over his career. Originally from Nigeria, Bassey moved to San Antonio in high school, where he continued his basketball career.