NEWARK — With the 15th pick in the NBA Draft Thursday night, the Philadelphia 76ers selected Queens basketball phenom Maurice Harkless.
"Ahhhh so happy to be a Sixer!! Can't wait to get out there tomorrow!" the 6-8 Harkless exclaimed on Twitter after his selection was announced.
Harkless, 19, starred for Forest Hills High School and was named the Queens High School Player of the Year by the Daily News after averaging 16.5 points and 11.5 rebounds during his junior year in 2009-10.
Harkless played one season at St. John's, averaging 15.5 points and 8.6 rebounds per game and winning the Big East Conference Rookie of the Year award.
Harkless' breakthrough performance for St. John's came on December 27, 2011 when he scored 32 points — the most ever by a freshman in his Big East debut — and pulled down 13 rebounds to lead the Red Storm to a 91-67 victory over Providence.
Harkless is the first St. John's player drafted since 2001 and the first chosen in the first round since Erick Barkley, was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers in 2000.
oe Harkless (R) of St. John's Red Storm greets NBA Commissioner David Stern (L) after he was selected number fifteen overall by the Philadelphia 76ers during the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft at Prudential Center on June 28, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey.View Full Caption