By: Madisen Carter
Unlimited Potential Basketball’s Coach Packie Turner recently returned from Santa Barbara after working out and preparing talented NBA prospects for the 2022 NBA Draft. The draft was held on Thursday, June 23rd, and Coach Packie was invited to watch the draft in person at Barclays Center with the guys he worked with over the summer. The UPB Team is excited to see all that these young men will accomplish in their upcoming NBA career!
Chet Holmgren was selected second overall in the 2022 NBA Draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder. He came to the University of Gonzaga as the 2021 Minnesota Mr. Basketball and the highest-ranked recruit to ever sign with the Bulldogs. He was one and done after his freshman season, and during that time he started in 31 out of the 32 games he appeared in and averaged 14.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 1.9 assists. He totaled 452 points, 317 rebounds, 115 blocks and 26 steals on the season.
The seven footer helped lead Gonzaga to a West Coast Conference Championship as well as a Sweet Sixteen appearance in the 2022 NCAA Tournament. During the tournament he totaled 39 points, 40 rebounds, and 13 blocks in just three games. Holmgren was named the WCC Defensive Player of the Year as well as the WCC Newcomer of the Year.
Holmgren said during his time in Santa Barbara with Coach Packie he focused on “just [getting] better in every aspect. You know in the weight room. I feel like I got stronger, more explosive on the court just to refine everything, my shot, my handle, you know, be more efficient with everything that I do.”
Jalen Williams was selected by the Oklahoma City Thunder with the 12th overall pick in the draft. Williams played three seasons at Santa Clara starting in 74 out of the 84 games he appeared in. He is a two-time All-WCC Selection and reached 1,000 points during his junior year. He ended his career with the Broncos with a total of 1,055 points, 314 rebounds, 241 assists, and 104 steals.
During Williams’ junior season, he averaged 18 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists in the 33 games he played in. He was the only player in the country to average 18 points per game while shooting 41% behind the arc and shooting 56% from the 2-point range.
“I think [working out in Santa Barbara] just helped a lot. I think I've changed as a person [and] I've just been able to see kind of the way I'm moving. I think everything I've gone into is a lot sharper than what it was when I got here,” Williams said. “I think I'm really starting to kind of understand how I play as well, even better than what I did when I got here as well and just kind of understanding the little nuances of the game.”
Christian Braun was selected by the Denver Nuggets with the 21st pick in the draft. Braun played three years at the University of Kansas and was a two-year starter. He had a significant role in the Jayhawks run to winning the 2022 NCAA Tournament with a total of 67 points, 44 rebounds and 22 assists. During his junior season he averaged 14.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists.
Braun was named to the Big 12 All-Tournament Team as well as to the NCAA Tournament All-Midwest Region Team. He finished his career with the Jayhawks totaling 1,018 points, 506 rebounds, 183 assists, and 97 steals.
E.J. Liddell was drafted in the second round, No. 41 overall by the New Orleans Pelicans. The two time Illinois Mr. Basketball played three years at Ohio State and averaged 14.1 points and 6.1 rebounds. Liddell’s offensive game was tremendous for the Buckeyes as he totaled 621 points in his junior season becoming the 35th player in school history to score more than 500 points in a single-season. He led his team in scoring, free throws made and attempted, rebounding, and blocked shots.
Liddell was named to the First Team All-Big Ten in 2021 and 2022 as well as the Big Ten All-Defensive team in 2022. He finished his 92-game career at Ohio State with a total of 1,298 points, 564 rebounds, 146 assists, and 143 blocks.
“Packie has helped me off to court by just life things. He's been around this game for a while [and] he's worked with a lot of great NBA players,” Liddell said in Santa Barbara. “Just me learning, me wanting to know how the guys handled situations, just the aspect of the game and he's really helped me just overall.
Kendall Brown was traded to the Indiana Pacers after being drafted at the No. 48 spot by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Brown played one year at Baylor University before deciding to declare for the draft. He started in all 34 games and had a memorable debut with the Bears scoring 13 points with four dunks, as well as two steals all within 18 minutes. He averaged 9.7 points and 4.9 rebounds and finished his career at Baylor with a total of 329 points, 166 rebounds, and 63 assists.
Brown made an impact on the Bears as he led the team in dunks with 43 and also led the team with three double-doubles. Brown was selected unanimously to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team and was a two-time Big 12 Newcomer of the Week.
Jabari Walker was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 57th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Walker averaged 11.5 points and 7.2 rebounds in his 59 career games with the University of Colorado over two seasons. He had a tremendous sophomore season as he led his team in scoring, rebounds, field goals made, and double-doubles with 17. Walker was selected to the All-Pac-12 Conference First Team with averages of 15.7 points and 10.4 rebounds
Walker led the Pac-12 in double-doubles as well as defensive rebounds in the 2021-22. He scored a career-high 24 points twice against the University of Oregon and Oregon State.
“Working with Packie has changed my game in a sense it has made me lower on my drive. It has made me more patient with my back to the basket,” Walker said. “Overall it just made me feel more like a pro and now I'm doing things that guys in the NBA are doing.”