Newly minted graduates Semi Ojeleye ’17 and Sterling Brown ’17 were selected in the NBA draft on June 22, writing a new chapter in Mustang basketball history.
Ojeleye was selected 37th overall by the Boston Celtics and Brown was picked 46th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers before being traded to the Milwaukee Bucks. It was the first time multiple Mustangs were tapped in the first two rounds, and the fourth time the Mustangs have had multiple picks in the draft.
Another Mustang standout, Ben Moore ’17, has agreed to a partially-guaranteed contract with the Indiana Pacers as an undrafted free agent.
Ojeleye capped his SMU basketball career as the first player in American Athletic Conference history to garner Player of the Year and Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors. He graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
In a Boston Herald profile, writer Mark Murphy describes Ojeleye “as precisely the kind of swing forward the NBA now demands — a player agile enough to guard multiple positions, strong enough to rebound and defend power forwards and accomplished enough offensively to space the floor.”
Brown was named an NABC Division I College All-Star, All-American Athletic Conference Second Team and AAC All-Tournament in his final season with the Mustangs. He earned a bachelor’s degree in sports management with a minor in sociology from SMU.
On Behind the Buck Pass, the Bucks’ news and fan site, Brown is praised as “a standout shooter who is long enough to defend well in the NBA. For the Bucks, he should provide another shooter off the bench, which is something the team definitely needs.”
Brown and Moore are the all-time leaders in wins for the Mustangs.
Moore was a four-year player at SMU, with 1,214 career points. He became the 39th player in the program’s history to reach 1,000 points, which came on a dunk in the match against Temple on January 4.
Moore, Ojeleye and another SMU alumnus, Markus Kennedy ’16, were among the exciting young players showcased in the NBA Summer League in July.
Kennedy was signed by the Detroit Pistons following a season with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Houston Rockets G-League team). While at SMU from 2013–16, he was twice named the American Athletic Conference Sixth Man of the Year. He scored 1,003 points during his SMU career.