June 23, 2011
NEWARK, N.J. (seminoles.com) –
“With the 18th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, the Washington Wizards select Chris Singleton of Florida State University,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern on Thursday night. With that statement the Seminoles’ newest professional basketball player realized a lifelong dream and will take his basketball talents from Tallahassee to Washington, D.C. as he became the 10th first round draft choice in the history of the Florida State program and the third in the last five seasons under head coach Leonard Hamilton.
“It’s totally a dream come true,” said Singleton. “In my workout (with the Wizards), they saw what I’m capable of doing, especially with the ball. They know I’m going to bring my defense, and that’s one thing that probably just put me in the position where I am today is my defense. I’m not going to take that for granted and I’m going to continue to work on that, and my offense is going to rise.”
“Being selected by the Washington Wizards is a great situation for Chris,” said Hamilton. “He has a very unique and special opportunity to realize his dreams of playing in the NBA and we couldn’t be happier for him and his family. Chris will have the chance to be an impact player on a team that is talented, athletic, hungry and willing to work just like Chris has always been. We are confident that Chris will continue to improve as a player and will be an outstanding NBA player.”
As one of 17 players invited by NBA officials invited to attend the draft at the Prudential Center, it was long believed that Singleton, an early entry candidate, would add his name to the Seminoles’ list of first round draft selections.
In being taken with the 18th overall selection, Singleton became just the sixth Seminole player taken within the first 18 picks of the NBA Draft. Singleton’s pick is the sixth highest a player has been drafted in school history.
Singleton is the Seminoles’ eighth NBA Draft pick in the last eight seasons and fourth in the last three seasons. Toney Douglas was a first round pick of the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009. Douglas was traded to and has played exceedingly well for the New York Knicks after being traded on draft night. Solomon Alabi (selected by the Dallas Mavericks and traded to the Toronto Raptors on draft night) and Ryan Reid (selected by the Indiana Pacers and traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder on draft night) were picked the second round in 2010.
Singleton is the third first round draft choice (Thornton in 2007, Douglas in 2009 and Singleton) under Hamilton. The Seminoles are ranked third in the ACC in the last eight seasons with eight overall draft selections and fourth in the ACC since 2004 with one NBA Draft Lottery selection. Only North Carolina with 12 overall selections and Duke with 10 (including 2011) have had more players taken in the NBA Draft than Florida State since 2004.
With Singleton’s first round selection in the 2011 NBA Draft, Florida State is the only school in the nation with first round picks in this year’s NBA (Singleton), NFL (Christian Ponder by the Minnesota Vikings) and MLB (Sean Gilmartin by the Atlanta Braves) drafts. It marks the fourth time in Florida State history (also in 1993, 1994 and 1995) that at least one Seminole has been taken in the first round of the NBA, NFL and MLB Drafts in the same season.
Singleton, the 2010 ACC Defensive Player of the Year, averaged a career high 13.1 points and 6.8 rebounds in 28 games as a senior. He led the Seminoles to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament and to a third place finish in the ACC standings with an 11-5 record. The Seminoles were 23-11 during his final season and won 70 games during his three year career.
Singleton led the Seminoles to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and to the championship game of the 2009 ACC Tournament for the first time in school history.
Singleton concluded his career as a two-time All-ACC and two-time ACC Defensive Team selection who established himself as one of the top defenders and top all-around players in school history during his three year career. He earned All-ACC Third team honors as both a sophomore in 2010 and as a junior in 2011 and was the top defensive players in Florida State and ACC history, was a two-time ACC All-Defensive Team selection and the ACC Defensive Player of the Year as voted on by the media in 2010 and as a unanimous selection by all 12 ACC coaching staffs in 2011. Singleton finished his career ranked 25th in ACC history with his 1.89 steals per game average (180 steals in 95 career games). He ranked first in the ACC in steals (2.2 spg) and fifth in the ACC in blocked shots (1.5 bpg) in 2010 and ranked second in the ACC in steals (2.0 spg) and eighth in blocked shots (1.5 bpg) in 2011 and was the only ACC player to rank in the top five of both categories as a sophomore and the only player in the ACC to rank in the top 10 of both categories as a junior. Singleton’s willingness to play defense allowed the Seminoles to rank as the nation’s best defense during his career; the Seminoles ranked first nationally and first in the ACC in field goal percentage defense in both 2010 and 2011.
“I am just going to do what they (the Wizards) have me do,” said Singleton soon after being selected. “I’m going to play defense, lock up one through four – those are the positions I think I can guard. I’m going to try and bring that every day.”
“Chris Singleton is another defender,” said ESPN college basketball Jay Bilas. “He a guy that stands about 6-9 but with his arms he plays 7-1. He’s versatile defensively; he can guard out on the perimeter and he can guard any one of four spots. He can make a perimeter shot but it is not a strength of his. As a defensive player he is outstanding. He only averaged about six rebounds a game and I think he can rebound at a higher level. His real value is as a defender. I think he is an elite defender especially on the NBA level where you can put him on a number of different players whether it’s the three, the two – he can even get and guard a point guard. He gets up; he gets steals, he blocks shots, he’s very active. He’s a hard worker. A solid rebounder. He’s a very good athlete. He’s one of those guys who is easy to play with – when you are defense first – and I think his shooting will come along because he does have a good stroke.”