Former Purdue star JaJuan Johnson was selected 27th overall by New Jersey in Thursday night’s NBA Draft, and is headed to Boston in a trade for the rights to Marshon Brooks.
Johnson is the first Boilermaker selected in the first round since Glenn Robinson was the first overall pick in the 1994 draft. He is the seventh first-round pick in Purdue history, and the Boilers’ first draft pick since Carl Landry was taken 31st overall in 2007.
“The sky is the limit for JaJuan,” Purdue head coach Matt Painter said. “This is a great day for him and his family, and it’s the beginning of a great career. He’s a relentless worker who will do a great job of getting himself ready to play.”
The Indianapolis native turned in one of the finest seasons the program has ever seen in 2010-11, earning consensus All-America honors after averaging 20.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. He became just the third player in conference history to win the Big Ten Player of the Year and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year awards in the same season, and was also Purdue’s first-ever recipient of the NABC’s Pete Newell Big Man of the Year Award.
Johnson finished his career as Purdue’s co-record holder, with classmate E’Twaun Moore, in wins (107), games played (140) and consecutive games played. He also ranks second in program history in blocks (263), third in minutes played (3,856), fourth in free throw attempts (662) and games started (120), fifth in rebounds (854) and free throws (492), seventh in points (1,919) and 11th in double-doubles.
In 2009, he participated in the World University Games Trials, and helped Team USA prepare for its gold medal-winning run at the 2010 FIBA World Championship as part of the USA Men’s Select Team in both Las Vegas and New York.