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Findlay Prep’s P.J. Washington drafted 12th by Hornets

Updated June 20, 2019 - 10:14 pm

The night for one former Findlay Prep standout went about as well as expected when P.J. Washington was chosen Thursday as a lottery pick.

The night for another ex-Pilot, Bol Bol, never seemed to end when he fell and fell and fell in the NBA draft.

Washington, a 6-foot-8-inch forward from Kentucky, was selected 12th by the Charlotte Hornets. Bol, a 7-2 center at Oregon, was projected to go in the first round, but had to wait until the second round and the 44th overall selection before being picked up by the Denver Nuggets through a trade with the Miami Heat.

Both players attended the draft at Barclays Center in New York.

Washington averaged 15.2 points and 7.5 rebounds as a sophomore last season at Kentucky, shooting 52.2 percent overall and 42.3 percent from 3-point range.

He declared for the draft last year before withdrawing his name.

“I think it definitely woke me up,” Washington said. “I think it definitely put some fuel on my fire and definitely helped me get to where I am today. It motivated me, definitely pushed me throughout the draft process. I had that in the back of my mind. I knew what I wanted to do, and I knew where I wanted to go. Those were always my goals, and I’m just excited to be in the position that I am right now.”

One of Washington’s new Charlotte teammates is UNR 6-7 swingman Cody Martin, who was taken in the second round, 36th overall. Another Mountain West player, San Diego State 6-8 forward Jalen McDaniels, went to the Hornets at No. 52.

Washington probably was drafted to eventually replace veteran Marvin Williams, who will enter his 15th season and the final year of his contract.

“(Washington) checked all the boxes,” Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak said. “He is very versatile. He can be very athletic and skilled. He can rebound, shoot the ball and he is long.

“He is always in the gym and loves to work. If he can continue to make that kind of jump, that he made from his freshman year to his sophomore year, then he will be a good player in this league for a long time.”

Bol, who wore a Spiderman suit to the draft, hopes to play for a long time, too. His wait on draft night certainly should serve as motivation.

The son of the late Manute Bol, a 10-year NBA veteran, averaged 21 points and 9.6 rebounds for the Ducks, shooting 56.1 percent. Bol also made 52 percent of his 3-point attempts.

He played in just nine games because of a foot injury, and there were reported questions about his stamina and determination.

“I’ve been dreaming of this for my whole life, and it feels pretty good,” Bol said. “I just want to prove everyone wrong and come out and be the best player I can be.”

He heads to a Denver team that won the Northwest Division with 54 victories and advanced to the Western Conference semifinals before losing in seven games to the Portland Trail Blazers.

“I think it’s good for me because I’ll be around very great players and a good staff,” Bol said. “I think that will help develop me. That will better me. I think I can bring a lot to the team with the knowledge that they give me.”

Contact Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.

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