2012 Warriors Draft Pick: Festus Ezeli
Full Name: Ifeanyi Festus Ezeli-Ndelue
Draft: 2012 - First Round, 30th Pick
Height/Weight: 6-11 (2.11 m)/ 255 (115.7 kg)
Birthdate: October 21, 1989 (Benin City, Nigeria)
High School: Jesuit HS (Sacramento, Calif.)
Career Highlights: Departed Vanderbilt as the school’s all-time leader in blocked shots with 204 career blocks, breaking a mark previously held by Will Perdue (157). Also the single-season record holder (2.6 bpg in 2010-11). Ranked second in the SEC in field goal percentage (.588) as a junior.
Senior (2011-12): Averaged 10.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks in 26 games. Tallied 15 doublefigure scoring games, including a season-high 21 points on two occasions – vs. both Tennessee State and LSU. Had three double-doubles in 2011-12, including a 12-point, career-high 14-rebound and season- high five-block effort vs. Mississippi State. Had three or more blocked shots on three occasions, with his season-high of five also coming against South Carolina. Missed the first 10 games of the season with a knee injury. A preseason All-SEC Second-Team selection.
Junior (2010-11): Averaged a career-high 13.0 points and 6.3 rebounds. Set a new Commodore single season record for blocks (2.6 bpg). Finished second in the SEC in field goal percentage (.588). Posted fifth and final double-double with 22 points and 13 rebounds in a career-high 36 minutes vs. Kentucky. Other top games included: a career-high 24 points and 10 rebounds vs. Belmont; 17 points and nine rebounds vs. Florida; 14 points and seven boards vs. Kentucky; 18 points and 10 boards vs. Georgia; 10 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high seven blocks vs. Georgia; 18 points, seven rebounds and four blocks vs. Arkansas; 17 and eight rebounds vs. South Carolina; 16 points vs. Florida; 15 points vs. North Carolina; 11 boards vs. West Virginia; six blocks vs. LSU.
Sophomore (2009-10): Started five games in 32 appearances, averaging 3.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks in 12.7 minutes per game overall. Led the team in field goal percentage (.544).
Freshman (2008-09): In first season at Vandy after redshirting 2007-08, averaged 3.8 points, 2.6 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 12.4 minutes per game. Never had played organized basketball except at the AAU level before Vanderbilt.
Strengths: Has prototypical size to play center in the NBA. Terrific shotblocker. Physical attributes (athleticism, reach, strength) make him a solid finisher around the basket. Gives a good effort defensively.
Personal: According to a story in Sports Illustrated, Ezeli graduated from high school in Nigeria at the age of 14 and then moved to the U.S. to live with his uncle, who is a pediatrician. He spent a year taking classes at Sacramento’s Jesuit High School, the magazine reported, but got cut from the basketball team. At 16, Ezeli took courses at a junior college and practiced with the basketball squad while also serving as the team videographer.