Not one, but two first-round picks are in for Duke.
Center Mark Williams has been selected 15th overall by the Charlotte Hornets in the 2022 NBA Draft, joining former teammate Paolo Banchero as the second Blue Devil to be selected in the first half of the draft's first round.
The Virginia Beach, Va., native won the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year award after his 2021-22 season in which he averaged 11.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game. Williams’ length has been his top asset, helping him affect shots in the paint, grab rebounds and finish close to the rim. His combine measurements stack up with the tallest and longest players currently in the league, making him an attractive pick for Charlotte.
The seven-footer out of IMG Academy was the third-ranked center in the 2020 recruiting class and slowly carved out his spot in the Duke rotation in the 2020-21 season. His memorable season-end performance against Louisville showed signs of promise—that he delivered on a more consistent basis in 2021-22. Williams was one of the most impactful players in the Blue Devils’ Final Four run, earning West Region All-Tournament honors. In his two years, he also left a mark on the Duke record books, posting one of the highest single-season field goal percentages and block totals.
The 20-year-old’s continued improvement and Charlotte's roster situation have him in a good position to make an impact for his new team immediately.
READ MORE on Williams' path to Charlotte:
This is a developing story. Check back here for more updates.
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Micah Hurewitz is a Trinity junior and a sports managing editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.