NEW YORK (WCMH) — Former Ohio State guard Malaki Branham became the highest Buckeye drafted since 2015 when he was selected 20th overall by the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Draft on Thursday.
The Columbus native is the first player and freshman from Ohio State drafted in the first round since D’Angelo Russell who was picked 2nd overall by the Lakers in 2015.
Branham is also the first one and done player under OSU coach Chris Holtmann.
As a true freshman, Branham played in 32 games averaging 13.7 points while shooting an impressive 49.8% from the field. He struggled early in the season but averaged 17 points a game during a 22-game stretch from Jan. 2 through the end of the season.
Branham grew up in Akron and played for St. Vincent-St. Mary, the same high school made famous by LeBron James. Branham led the Fighting Irish to the 2021 Division II state championship and was named Mr. Basketball in Ohio for the 2020-21 season.