INDIANAPOLIS – The Pacers selected Arizona guard Bennedict Mathurin with the sixth overall pick in Thursday night’s NBA Draft.
Mathurin attended the draft with his mother and sister at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.
“It meant everything for me and my family,” Mathurin said of hearing his name called and sharing the moment together. “It was really a great night.”
“This is a player that we have targeted for quite some time,” said Pacers president Kevin Pritchard. “We believe he has the ability to contribute immediately and become a key part of our foundation moving forward. “
Mathurin averaged 14.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in 63 career games over two seasons for the Wildcats. As a sophomore in 2021-22, Mathurin won the Pac-12’s Player of the Year award and received consensus All-America Second Team honors.
He just turned 20 years old this past Sunday.
“I’ll wake up tomorrow and be a Pacer,” Mathurin smiled. “The only gift I could ask for my birthday. It’s really a dream come true.”
Mathurin is the highest pick the Pacers have had in the NBA Draft since taking Marist’s Rik Smits second overall in 1988.
Detroit took Purdue All-American guard Jaden Ivey the spot before Indiana at fifth overall.
The Pacers took guard Andrew Nembhard with the first pick of the second round, the 31st overall. Nembhard played two seasons at Florida and two seasons at Gonzaga averaging 10 points and 5.3 assists per game.
Indiana then made a trade with Minnesota according to multiple reports and drafted forward Kendall Brown at no. 48. He played one season at Baylor, averaging 9.7 ppg and earning All-Big 12 freshman team honors.
The Pacers had the final pick in the draft (no. 58), but several outlets reported they traded it to Milwaukee. The Bucks used the pick on international prospect Hugo Besson.