Little drafted into NBA

By Randy Lefko Sports Editor
Posted 6/26/19

DURHAM, NC – Oakleaf High School basketball had a glimpse of the NBA in 2016 with the high-flying play of former forward Nassir Little.

Little, a 6’-6”, 220 pound freshman forward at the …

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Little drafted into NBA

Posted

DURHAM, NC – Oakleaf High School basketball had a glimpse of the NBA in 2016 with the high-flying play of former forward Nassir Little.

Little, a 6’-6”, 220 pound freshman forward at the University of North Carolina last year, was drafted by the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers as the 25th pick of the Thurs., June 21 event.

“Him getting to 25 was not something we anticipated, but we are thrilled to have him,” said Trailblazers’ general manager Neil Olshey in a post draft press conference. “I think everyone had him higher on the board, but we love his athleticism and he’s a good fit. He’s a high character kid too; salutorian of his high school class, national merit scholar. He really produced in limited minutes at North Carolina.”

Little, a standout scorer and defender for coaches John Conley at Oakleaf Junior High School and Jason Price of Oakleaf High School, finished his last two years of high school at Orlando Christian Prep as a two-time Class 3A champion.

With Oakleaf High in the 2016 season, Little, a sophomore, combined with Jonathan Bryant, now at University of Tampa, to win a district 4-7A title over Creekside High School. The Knights finished at 18-9 with a region playoff loss to Atlantic Coast High School. Creekside would lose in the region final.

As a freshman, Little and Bryant, then a sophomore, put Oakleaf in the district 2-6A final with the Knights’ losing to Gainesville, the eventual 6A runnerup. Oakleaf lost to Pensacola High in the region quarterfinal.

As a Tar Heel under legendary coach Roy Williams, Little becomes the 115th Tar Heel to be chosed to an NBA team and the 52nd player to be taken in the first round.

Little averaged 9.8 points per game for the Tar Hells with 4.6 rebounds for 18 minutes of average playing time.

The Trailblazers won 53 games last year and eliminated from the NBA playoffs in the Western Conference finals.

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