A record number of college freshmen were selected in the 2017 NBA draft on Thursday night.
UCLA contributed its fair share.
Two of the record-high 16 freshmen in the first round were Bruins, including the highest draft pick from UCLA in 38 years.
After much anticipation, the Lakers did indeed make Southern California product Lonzo Ball the No. 2 overall pick. The last Bruin selected that high in the NBA draft was David Greenwood, who went No. 2 in 1979.
After setting UCLA’s school record with 274 assists in his lone collegiate season, Ball’s professional basketball home is within a short drive from his hometown of Chino Hills.
TJ Leaf, the leading scorer on the highest-scoring team in college basketball, was the second UCLA freshman selected in the first round when the Indiana Pacers made him the 18th overall selection.
Just before going on stage to shake NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s hand, the 6-foot-10 power forward shared a hug with his father, Brad Leaf, who was drafted by the Pacers 35 years earlier. A seventh-round pick in the 1982 draft, Brad Leaf elected to play in Isreal, where he enjoyed a 17-year career and his wife birthed a son named TJ just over 20 years ago.
The third member of UCLA’s 2016 recruiting class, center Ike Anigbogu, was a projected first-round draft pick, but slipped to the Pacers at the 47th overall pick amid reports of concern for his surgically repaired knee.
Anigbogu suffered a tear in his meniscus three weeks before his lone season at UCLA, requiring a surgery so minor that he was shelved for only a month before returning to game action.
His 6-foot-10, 250-pound frame and a 7-6 wingspan combined with his exceptional athleticism drew near assurances to his camp that he would be a first-round draft pick, but Anigbogu now has an even steeper climb to prove himself a worthy NBA talent.
Anigbogu, who was in attendance at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., emereged from his seat with a subdued reaction before hugging his…