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Bobcats draft Indiana's Cody Zeller with No. 4 pick

June 27, 2013

(Photo special to the O-N-E)

The Charlotte Bobcats added a big man it desperately needed during Thursday’s NBA Draft.

The Bobcats took 7-foot University of Indiana power forward Cody Zeller with the fourth overall pick during the draft.

Charlotte was one of the teams that Zeller wanted to be chosen by.

"I'm so excited for Charlotte and playing with the Bobcats," Zeller said. "It's an unbelievable feeling. It's one of my top choices because it's a young group of guys with Kemba (Walker) and (Michael) Kidd-Gilchrist, especially guys with good motors who play the right way. They get up and run. It's good group of guys. Charlotte seems like a great city. I think all around it is a great fit for me."

As a sophomore, Zeller averaged 16.5 points and 8.1 rebounds in 36 games for the Hoosiers last season.

He was also the Big 10 Freshman of the Year in 2012.

The 7-foot, 232-pound Zeller had no inclination he'd be taken by the Bobcats.

"I didn't know until (Commissioner) David Stern announced it," Zeller said. "It's a crazy process not knowing, but I'm definitely excited I ended up with the Bobcats."

Zeller becomes the third member in his family to play in the NBA.

Cody's brother, Tyler, was the 2012 ACC Player of the Year and was taken by the Cleveland Cavaliers in last year's NBA Draft with the 17th overall pick.

A member of the 2013 NBA All-Rookie second team, Tyler played collegiately nearby at the University of North Carolina, helping lead the Tar Heels to a National Championship in 2009.

The other Zeller brother, Luke, is a former Notre Dame standout and spent time with the NBA's Phoenix Suns last season.

Cody said having two brothers who both have NBA experience helps him transition into the league.

"They've helped me a lot because they've gone through a lot of the same stuff I'm going through except for a couple of years before me like Tyler do this last year," Cody said. "It's definitely a big advantage for me."

Playing for Bobcats owner Michael Jordan is also an added benefit for Cody.

"I'm a huge fan," Cody said of Jordan. "One of, if not the best player to ever play the game is unbelievable. It is unbelievable that I'll be able to talk with him and learn from him. It'll be an unbelievable experience for me."

As for his own expectations, Cody is going to take his rookie season with the Bobcats in stride.

"I'm not worried about the title of franchise guy or anything," Cody said. "I'm going to come in and try to be the hardest working guy is what I'm going to try to be. Hopefully, the other guys there will follow my lead or I'll join them. If it is a good group of hardworking guys, the team is going to start winning."

Zeller will officially be introduced to area media at a 1 p.m. press conference on Friday.

Cavaliers take Bennett No. 1 overall

The Cleveland Cavaliers stunned the NBA and the world by selecting UNLV power forward Anthony Bennett with the top selection.

Many experts had Maryland center Alex Len or Kentucky center Nerlens Noel going No. 1 overall.

Len was taken by the Phoenix Suns at No. 5, while Noel slipped to No. 6 overall to New Orleans with lingering issues over his torn left ACL.

Noel's rights were later traded from the Pelicans to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Indiana Hoosier shooting guard Victor Oladipo was taken by Orlando at No. 2 overall.

Georgetown’s Otto Porter went No. 3 to nearby the Washington Wizards.

Draft capped with trades

More than a dozen trades took place during Thursday's NBA Draft.

The biggest of the deals had Boston trading Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets for Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, Keith Bogans, Reggie Evans, Tormike Shengelia and first round picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018.

The trade cannot be approved until July.

ACC makes impact in NBA Draft

Seven ACC players were selected during Thursday's NBA Draft, including four in the first round and three in the second round.

The highest of those taken was Maryland center Alex Len to the Phoenix Suns at No. 5.

Joining Len in the first round were Miami's Shane Larkin (No. 18 to Atlanta), Duke's Mason Plumlee (No. 22 to Brooklyn) and North Carolina's Reggie Bullock (No. 25 to the L.A. Clippers).

ACC Player of the Year Erick Green, out of Virginia Tech, was among the second round draft selections out of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Green was taken 46th overall by the Utah Jazz, but later was traded to the Denver Nuggets.

Joining Green was Duke's Ryan Kelly to the Lakers (48th overall) and N.C. State's Lorenzo Brown to Minnesota (52nd overall).

Several ACC standouts also went undrafted, including Duke's Seth Curry and N.C. State's C.J. Leslie.

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