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Grizzlies take Edey, 2-time AP POY, 9th overall

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NEW YORK — Zach Edey is taking his 7-foot-4 frame to Memphis to start his NBA career.

Edey, the former Purdue center who became the first player in more than 40 years to win The Associated Press’ men’s college basketball player of the year award in back-to-back seasons, was taken by the Grizzlies with the ninth pick in Wednesday’s NBA draft.

And so begins the process of seeing how his game translates to the next level. Edey will be one of the tallest players in the NBA this coming season; in 2023-24, only San Antonio’s Rookie of the Year Victor Wembanyama, Houston’s Boban Marjanovic and Phoenix’s Bol Bol were listed at 7-foot-3 or taller.

Edey averaged 22.3 points and 12.9 rebounds as a junior, then 25.2 points and 12.2 rebounds during a senior season in which he led Purdue to the NCAA title game against Connecticut.

Edey is one of only six players to have won the AP player of the year award, which dates back to the 1960-61 season, on multiple occasions. The others: Ohio State’s Jerry Lucas, UCLA’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton, North Carolina State’s David Thompson and Virginia’s Ralph Sampson. Lucas, Abdul-Jabbar, Walton, Thompson and Edey were all two-time winners; Sampson was a three-time AP award winner.



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