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Former Edmond Santa Fe star Ekpe Udoh picked in first round by Golden State

Former Edmond Santa Fe star Ekpe Udoh couldn't believe it when NBA commissioner David Stern called his name in the first round.
BY TARIQ LEE,Staff Writer,tlee@opubco.com Published: June 24, 2010
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Former Edmond Santa Fe star Ekpe Udoh was selected sixth overall by the Golden State Warriors in Thursday's NBA Draft.

Udoh, who played at Michigan for two seasons before transferring to Baylor, was named to the Big 10 All-Defensive team in 2008 and the Big 12 All-Defensive team in 2010.

Udoh set a Big 12 record last season with 133 blocks and led the league in blocks per game. He brings defensive intensity to a Warriors team that ranked 25{+t}{+h} in the NBA in blocks per game. Golden State was last in rebounds per game.

The 6-foot-10, 237-pounder averaged 13.9 points and 9.8 rebounds last season for Baylor. He added 3.7 blocks and 2.7 assists per game as the Bears reached the regional finals vs. Duke.

"It's mind boggling really, you know, coming from the bottom to get to the top. It feels great," Udoh told The Oklahoman.

Most mock drafts had Udoh being picked in the top 10. But when NBA commissioner David Stern called his name, Udoh still couldn't believe it.

"My agent told me during the draft I'd go 6-9, but I was praying," Udoh said. "Then I heard my name, and all the air went out of me."

In attendance in the green room with Udoh were both his parents and his two sisters.

"They were happy, and they were just talking," Udoh said. "You know how you're talking and you don't know what you're saying — they were doing a lot of doing that."

Udoh can't wait to get started with the Warriors. He plans to hit the weight room hard, noting that his strength was one of his weak points.

"I'm just going to come in and play hard, throw myself into this organization and try and get better everyday," he said.