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Bryce McGowens selected by Minnesota in the NBA draft, traded to Charlotte

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Bryce McGowens has found his NBA home.

The Minnesota Timberwolves selected McGowens with the No. 40 pick in Thursday’s NBA draft, making him the 29th draft pick in Nebraska men’s basketball history. According to reports, he was traded to the Charlotte Hornets.

"This day has been amazing, getting a chance to be here, celebrate this with my family," McGowens told reporters. "This was my dream since I can remember. So just being able to be here and get drafted, it means everything to me. I thank God."

McGowens was the first one-and-done player in NU history and the highest-rated player it ever recruited.

He averaged 16.8 points and 5.2 rebounds on 40.3% shooting during his lone season in Lincoln. He led all Big Ten freshmen in scoring and broke Dave Hoppen’s freshman scoring record at Nebraska. The record (445 points) stood for 39 years. McGowens broke it during his 27th game as a Husker.

Now he will join a wing rotation with an uncertain future. Hornets forward Gordon Hayward has been involved in trade rumors lately. Miles Bridges and Cody Martin are both restricted free agents this summer. And Kelly Oubre and PJ Washington each have just one year remaining on their respective contracts.

McGowens is third Nebraska player to be drafted in the last four years. Former Husker Isaiah Roby broke a 20-year drought when he was drafted 45th by the Detroit Pistons in 2019. The Toronto Raptors picked Dalano Banton 46th last summer.

Banton and McGowens both count toward Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg’s growing list of NBA pupils with McGowens being the 12th player coached by Hoiberg to make the NBA in his eight seasons as a college coach

McGowens is the second-highest draft pick Hoiberg has ever produced.

His professional journey begins next month at Summer League in Las Vegas. He plans to bring leadership, competitive spirit and a scoring spark to Charlotte.

After being projected as a first-rounder most of the season, will he use his draft-day drop as motivation?

"Most definitely," McGowens said.

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