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Blake Strikes 1st In 2009

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Blake Strikes 1st In 2009
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Hey, I haven't written an article in a while, so I may be kind of rusty.

 

As most of you know Blake Griffin was selected as the Number 1 overall picks. Let me give you a fact about Oklahoma and the NBA Draft.

 

1. With the first pick overall, Blake Griffin is Oklahoma's only number 1 pick.

 

Now, Oklahoma may not have a prestigious list of draft picks like UNC, but they always have talent. Now since this article is about 23, let's get to it.

Blake Austin Griffin (born March 16, 1989) is an American basketball player who was selected first overall by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2009 NBA Draft.

Blake Griffin played for the Oklahoma Sooners. He was named the Associated Press, the John Wooden Award, the Naismith Award and the Sporting News player of the year for the 2008-2009 college basketball season.[14] [15]

When combined with Sam Bradford's Heisman Trophy, Oklahoma became the second school to have a top winner in both basketball and football in the same year (Gary Beban won the Heisman Trophy and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won the USBWA "Player of the Year" award in 1968 for UCLA).

High school career

During his high school tenure he led Oklahoma Christian School (where his father was also his head coach) to four state championships.[16]

For the 2004–2005 season (his sophomore year), he was named to the "Little All-City All-State" team while averaging 13.6 points per game (PPG), and his brother, Taylor, was named "Player of the Year" by The Oklahoman.[17]

As a junior (2005–2006 season), he was named "Player of the Year" by The Oklahoman.[18] In 26 games Griffin averaged 21.7 PPG, 12.5 RPG, and 4.9 assists per game (APG), and blocked 49 shots with 45 steals. He was also named to the Tulsa World "Boys All-State First Team".[19][20]

During 2006–2007 (his senior season) he averaged 26.8 PPG, 15.1 RPG, and 4.9 APG. Griffin was named the Oklahoma "Player of the Year" by both the Tulsa World and The Oklahoman. Additionally, he was Gatorade's "Oklahoma Player of the Year" and named to the 2007 McDonald's All-American and Jordan All-American teams.[16][21] At the McDonald's All-American game in Louisville, Kentucky he won the slam dunk contest.[21]

College career

As a freshman (the 2007–2008 season) at Oklahoma, Griffin averaged 14.7 PPG and 9.1 RPG, and led the Sooners to a 23-12 record.[22]

Griffin was named to the Big 12 Conference "First Team" and also the "All Rookie First Team" (the last Sooner to make the conference "All-Rookie" team was Wayman Tisdale in 1983 for the Big Eight Conference).[23]

2008-2009 Season

Griffin finished the season with a Big 12 Conference record of 30 double-doubles,[24] which was one short of the NCAA record set by David Robinson with 31, set in 1986-1987. He also set a record for the most rebounds in Big 12 Conference history in a single-season, with 504,[24] and won the 2008-2009 Naismith Award for Player of the Year.

Griffin in pre-game warm-ups.

Record setting Valentines Day

During his sophomore season in a Valentines Day (February 14, 2009) home victory, 95-74, against the Texas Tech Red Raiders, Griffin would have one of his best career days to date: 40 points, including 8 of 10 from the free throw line and 16 of 22 from the field (for 72.7%), and 23 rebounds (7 offensive, 16 defensive), in 31 minutes. This marks the first time he has scored 40 or more points, and set career bests for both points and rebounds at OU.[22]

He set a school record with 30 double-doubles for a season by a Sooner (Garfield Heard, 27 games during the 1969–1970 season; and Alvan Adams 26 games during 1973–1974; each had 21).[25][26]

He also became only the third player in the history of the University of Oklahoma men's basketball program to score at least 40 points and get 20 rebounds in a game, after Wayman Tisdale (61 points - 22 rebounds against Texas-San Antonio in 1983) and Alvan Adams (43 points - 25 boards against Iowa State in 1975).[27]

Injuries

Griffin suffered a sprained Medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his left knee five minutes into the Sooners game against the Kansas Jayhawks, January 14, 2008. Griffin did not return to the game and the Sooners would go on to lose, 55-85.[28] He would also miss the following game, a 87-78 loss against the Texas Tech Red Raiders on January 19.[22]

Less than two months after injuring his left knee, he injured his right knee in a home victory (64–37) against Texas A&M. The injury this time was torn cartilage, and he had arthroscopic surgery, March 2, 2008. He missed the following game, a March 5 victory of in-state rival Oklahoma State, 68–56, at Stillwater.[29] But was back on the court a week after the injury (March 8) with 14 points and 8 rebounds in 28 minutes versus the Missouri Tigers, a 75–66 win for the Sooners on their home floor.[22]

Griffin received a concussion in a 68–73 loss to the Texas Longhorns in Austin, on February 21, 2009.[30] After a collision with Texas center Dexter Pittman, Griffin left the game with about 4 minutes to go in the first half and didn't return.[31] He sat on the bench with a bloody nose and apparently dazed from the impact.[32] It was the Sooners first loss of their conference schedule for the season.[31] After sitting out the next game, a 78–87 loss to Kansas (February 23), Griffin was cleared by the medical staff and returned a week later to get 20 points and 19 rebounds in a 78–63 victory over Texas Tech, February 28, 2009.[33]

NBA Career

On April 7, 2009, Blake Griffin declared for the NBA Draft. A press conference announcing his decision was aired nationally on ESPNews. He was selected as the #1 overall pick by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2009 NBA Draft.

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