The Houston Rockets selected former ASU men’s basketball guard Josh Christopher 24th overall in the 2021 NBA Draft Thursday night.
Christopher becomes ASU's first player to be selected in the first round since James Harden was selected third overall in 2009. Christopher will now be heading to the team Harden spent nearly a decade with.
Christopher joined ASU last season as ESPN’s No. 10-ranked recruit in his class, the program’s highest-ever signing in the recruiting service era.
He started 15 games in his lone season for the Sun Devils, averaging 14.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game while shooting 43.2% from the field.
In November, Christopher was named ASU’s first recipient of the Pac-12’s Freshman of the Week Award, which was created the previous season.
Many mock drafts projected Christopher to be a borderline lottery pick before last season, but his draft stock trended toward a late first to early second-rounder leading up to the draft.
During the NBA Draft Combine in June, he posted 28 points, 14 rebounds, 8 assists and 4 steals in 49 minutes of 5-on-5 scrimmages, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.
The Rockets finished with the NBA's worst record at 17-55 in the 2020-21 season and were rewarded the second overall pick. The team picked Jalen Green with the second overall pick and drafted Alperen Sengun and Usman Garuba 16th and 23rd, respectively.
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Justin Spangenthal is a reporter for The State Press, currently covering Men's Golf and Track and Field. Justin transferred to ASU last January and is planning to graduate Fall '23. He is passionate about journalism and hopes to one day launch his own media outlet.