After getting a small forward with the No. 7 pick, the Warriors get a big man they like: Vanderbilt center Festus Ezeli.
The 6-foot-11, 264-pound big man from Sacramento by way of Nigeria impressed the Warriors when he worked out with the Warriors. He played four years at Vanderbilt, averaging 7.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.7 blocks for his career. His best season was his junior year when he averaged 13.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.6 blocks.
He’s known for his great size and excellent shot blocking ability. He plays hard, especially on defense, and can finish around the basket. He certainly fills the Warriors’ desire for toughness.
Ezeli graduated from high school in Nigeria at age 14. He moved to Sacramento with his uncle, a pediatrician. His new guardian didn’t think it was wise to put a 14-year-old in college so he sent Ezeli back to high school and enrolled in Sacramento’s Jesuit High. That’s when he started playing basketball.
He was cut by his high school team. At 16, he started taking classes at junior college. He wasn’t eligible to play for the basketball team, but he practiced with the squad while serving as a videographer.