Isaiah Roby's pro dream has come true.
The former Nebraska forward was selected by the Detroit Pistons with the 45th overall pick of Thursday night's NBA Draft then traded to the Dallas Mavericks, becoming the first Husker basketball player to be drafted in 20 years.
The Dixon, Illinois, native is the first Nebraska player to be drafted since Venson Hamilton in 1999, and just the fifth Husker picked since the draft went to two rounds in 1989. He joins Hamilton, Tyronn Lue, Eric Piatkowski and Rich King on that list. Overall, he is the 27th player in program history to be drafted.
Roby watched the draft from his family's home in Dixon. Nearly 4.5 hours after the draft started, he grinned when his name was called as friends and family surrounding him exploded in celebration, and quickly donned a Mavericks cap.
"I knew (Nebraska's draft history) from the time Nebraska started recruiting me," Roby told the Journal Star last month after announcing his decision to forgo his senior year at Nebraska. "I heard people telling me — if you want to go to the NBA, Nebraska's not the right school; they don't have a track record of putting guys in it. So I kind of always had that.
"That's something I was excited about, and that challenge was something Coach (Tim) Miles sold me on, leaving my mark on this program, and I think I did a good job of that."
Roby averaged career highs of 11.8 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.3 steals to go with 1.9 blocks per game. That ability to fill the stat sheet, and his tantalizing physical tools, made him an intriguing prospect when he first announced he would test the draft waters.
After a strong showing at the NBA Draft combine and workouts with nearly a dozen teams, Roby seemed to solidify himself as a draftable player, and he announced his intentions to forego his senior season and turn professional on May 29.
Because of NBA rules, the Mavericks can't talk about Roby by name until the trade becomes official sometime next week. But Dallas president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson told the Dallas Morning News that the franchise was "ecstatic" with the pick.
The Mavericks had Roby graded as a high second-round pick, but were able to snag him later in the round while also picking up a pair of future second-round picks from the Pistons in the trade.
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