The 2001 NBA Draft marked an important milestone in the history of the National Basketball Association. It was the first time a high school player had been drafted as number one overall by any team, with Kwame Brown being selected by Washington Wizards. This draft also featured some of the biggest stars to have ever graced professional courts, including Yao Ming and Tyson Chandler who would go on to become household names. The event set off many changes within basketball circles that still reverberate today and will continue to do so in years to come.
1. Albert Kedrick Brown
- High school: Zachary (Zachary, Louisiana)
- College: Northwest Florida State (1999–2001)
- NBA draft 2001 / Round: 1 / Pick: 11th overall
- Selected by the Boston Celtics
- Playing career: 2001–2012
- Position: Small forward
- Number: 42, 5
- Coaching career: 2017–2018
- First team NJCAA All-American (2001)
- Points: 509 (3.6 ppg)
- Rebounds: 347 (2.4 rpg)
- Assists: 103 (0.7 apg)
Albert Kedrick Brown was born in 1981 and played college basketball for Northwest Florida State. He was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 2001 and spent six seasons with the team before being traded to Memphis Grizzlies in 2007.
Brown then signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he remained until 2012 when he retired due to injuries. After his retirement, Brown started coaching at his alma mater, Zachary High School as an assistant coach under head coach Jeff Jones from 2017-2018 season Brown was an All-American for the Virginia Cavaliers and played in the NBA for four seasons, most notably with the Boston Celtics.
Brown had a successful career as both a player and coach, helping teams reach the playoffs each time he was involved. Brown is remembered for his defense on opposing players and his ability to rebound effectively at both ends of the court.
2. Brandon Armstrong
- High school: Vallejo (Vallejo, California)
- College: Pepperdine (1999–2001)
- NBA draft 2001 / Round: 1 / Pick: 23rd overall
- Selected by the Houston Rockets
- Playing career: 2001–2009
- Position: Shooting guard
- Number: 1
- 2001–2004: New Jersey Nets
- 2005: Roseto Sharks
- 2006: Calpe Aguas
- 2006–2007: Dakota Wizards
- 2007: Bakersfield Jam
- 2007: Anaheim Arsenal
- 2007–2008: Kotwica Kołobrzeg
- 2008–2009: Budivelnyk
- 2× First-team All-WCC (2000, 2001)
Brandon Armstrong was a shooting guard who played in the NBA for nine seasons. He started his career with the Houston Rockets and was highly successful, winning three Championships (2002–04, 2006–08, 2008–10).
After leaving Houston, he had stints with the Detroit Pistons and Minnesota Timberwolves before joining the Brooklyn Nets in 2013. Brandon Armstrong is considered one of the greatest shooters in NBA history and holds numerous records including most 3-pointers made (2,917), highest percentage from beyond the arc (41%), most free throws made (16,447) and most games played (1,265).
In 2015 he announced his retirement from professional basketball after playing 38 years in the league. Brandon Armstrong is a 6'10" forward who played collegiately at the University of Notre Dame. He was drafted by the New Jersey Nets with the 27th overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft and spent four seasons with them before moving on to play for various European teams. In 2014, he rejoined his former team, the Nets, and has since averaged 9 points and 5 rebounds per game over two seasons with them.
His playing style is very physical; he loves to get into people's faces on both sides of the ball and do whatever it takes to win games. Brandon has often been compared to another tall forward who plays in Europe - Dirk Nowitzki - due to their similarities both offensively and defensively. He came out as gay during an interview earlier this year and said that it was something that had always been important to him but didn't feel like anyone else did either until now because there wasn't much public discussion about it happening openly in sports circles.
Brandon currently resides in Brooklyn Heights, New York City with his partner of six years, Jarrod Uthoff-Armstrong
3. Jeryl Sasser
- High school: Kimball (Dallas, Texas)
- College: SMU (1997–2001)
- NBA draft 2001 / Round: 1 / Pick: 22nd overall
- Selected by the Orlando Magic
- Playing career: 2001–2009
- Position: Shooting guard
- Number: 5
- 2001–2003: Orlando Magic
- 2003–2004: Élan Béarnais Pau-Orthez
- 2005: Yakima Sun Kings
- 2005–2006: Bnei HaSharon
- 2007–2009: Al Arabi
- WAC Player of the Year (1999), WAC Freshman of the Year (1998), 2× First-team All-WAC (1999, 2000), 2× Second-team All-WAC (1998, 2001), AP Honorable mention All-American (2000)
Jeryl Sasser was a shooting guard who played in the NBA for 10 seasons. He was drafted by the Orlando Magic in 2001 and spent his entire career with them.
Jeryl Sasser is best known for his time with the Memphis Grizzlies, where he won two championships (2009, 2011). Jeryl Sasser has also made an impact on the international stage, playing for Team USA at both the World Championships (2006) and Olympics (2008).
In 2017, Jeryl announced that he would be retiring from professional basketball following the season finale of the Memphis Grizzlies' playoff run. Jeryl is a father of three children - daughter Alyssa (born 2004), son Brayden (born 2006), and daughter Addison (born 2008).
Jeryl Sasser was a standout player at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He was drafted by the Orlando Magic in 2001 and played for them from 2001 to 2003. He then signed with Élan Béarnais Pau-Orthez and spent two seasons there before joining Yakima Sun Kings in 2005. In 2007, he joined Al Arabi of Qatar where he finished his career in 2009 having won several championships with that team including Doha Stars League (2008) and Qatari Basketball Premier League (2009).
4. Michael Bradley
- High school: Burncoat (Worcester, Massachusetts)
- College: , Kentucky (1997–1999), Villanova (2000–2001)
- NBA draft 2001 / Round: 1 / Pick: 17th overall
- Selected by the Toronto Raptors
- Playing career: 2001–2008
- Position: Power forward / Center
- Number: 5, 33, 7, 31
- Coaching career: 2010–present
- NCAA champion (1998), Consensus second-team All-American (2001), First-team All-Big East (2001)
Michael Bradley is a retired American professional basketball player who played power forward and center. He was drafted by the Toronto Raptors in 2001 and spent his entire career with them, retiring in 2008.
In 2010, he began coaching the UMass Minutemen men's basketball team. Bradley has won an Olympic gold medal as part of the United States Men's National Basketball Team and two World Championships (in 2004 and 2007).
He is married to Megan Mullally and they have four children: daughters Aliya Marie (born 2002), Stella Grace (born 2005), Harper Seven (born 2009) and son Roman Jagger (born 2012). A two-time NCAA champion and consensus second-team All-American, Bradley was drafted by the Toronto Raptors with the third overall pick in 2001.
After being traded to Atlanta for Tariq Abdul-Wahad in 2004, Bradley helped lead the Hawks to their first playoff berth that year. He spent four seasons with Orlando before signing with Sacramento as a free agent in 2007. In his five years with Žalgiris Kaunas, he led them to three Lithuanian League championships and an appearance in the Euroleague Finals both during 2006–2007 and 2007–2008 season respectively
5. Bryan Bracey
- High school: Oak Park and River Forest, (Oak Park, Illinois)
- College: , Wisconsin–Platteville (1996–1997), Malcolm X (1998–1999), Oregon (1999–2001)
- NBA draft 2001 / Round: 2 / Pick: 58th overall
- Playing career: 2001–2011
- Position: Forward
- 2001: Fayetteville Patriots
- 2001–2002: Bnei Herzliya
- 2002: Air Avellino
- 2002–2003: Hapoel Jerusalem
- 2003–2004: Huntsville Flight
- 2004: CB Murcia
- 2004: Cedar Rapids River Raiders
- 2004–2005: Peristeri B.C.
- 2005: Dynamo Moscow Region
- 2006–2007: Legea Scafati
- 2007–2008: Élan Chalon
- 2008–2009: Dexia Mons-Hainaut
- 2009–2010: Proteas EKA AEL
- 2010–2011: Capitanes de Arecibo
- 2011: AO Pagrati BC
- Cypriot League All-Defensive team (2010), Greek Basket League All-Star (2006), Second-team All-USBL (2004), First-team All-Pac-10 (2001)
Bryan Bracey was born on August 5, 1978 in Chicago, Illinois. He attended high school at Oak Park and River Forest before going to college at Wisconsin-Platteville.
After two seasons with the Fayetteville Patriots of the Southeast Division of the American Basketball Association (ABA), he was drafted by the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the 2001 NBA draft.
He played for four teams during his six-year NBA career: Denver, Portland, Orlando and Sacramento Kings. In 2008, he signed with BCM Ural Great Perm of Russia's Professional Basketball League (PBL). However, after just one season he returned to America and retired from professional basketball at age 29 due to a knee injury sustained playing for Ural Great Perm against Khimki Moscow Region in December 2009.
Bryan is currently an assistant coach for Weber State University's men's basketball team where he helped lead them to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1985 as a sophomore when they lost in overtime to Wichita State University 74–71 on March 20th 2016.
7 Bryan resides in Ogden Utah with his wife Teri and their three children Caden (born 2003), Ryland (born 2006) and Harper (born 2010).
6. Maurice Jeffers
- High school: Morrilton (Morrilton, Arkansas)
- College: , Arkansas – Fort Smith (1997–1999), Saint Louis (1999–2001)
- NBA draft 2001 / Round: 2 / Pick: 55th overall
- Selected by the Sacramento Kings
- Playing career: 2001–2012
- Position: Small forward / Shooting guard
- 2001: Asheville Altitude
- 2002: Fribourg Olympic
- 2003: Texas RimRockers
- 2003: Kansas Cagerz
- 2003–2004: Cornellà
- 2004: Kansas Cagerz
- 2004–2005: Baloncesto León
- 2005–2006: L'Hospitalet
- 2006: Kansas Cagerz
- 2006–2007: Lleida Bàsquet
- 2007–2008: Breogán
- 2008–2010: Gießen 46ers
- 2010–2011: Club Atlético Lanús
- 2011–2012: Gießen 46ers
Maurice Jeffers was a prolific scorer in the NBA, averaging 19.5 points per game over his career. He played for three different teams during his time in the league, including Sacramento Kings and Orlando Magic.
Maurice finished his playing career with an injury-plagued 2012 season with the Detroit Pistons. In total, he scored more than 16,000 points in his professional career and ranks fifth all-time among shooting guards in scoring average (19.5 ppg).
Maurice is now a commentator for Fox Sports Midwest alongside Kenny Smith and Jay Williams and also works as an agent to represent athletes looking to enter into professional sports leagues overseas Maurice Jeffers is a 6'7" small forward who played for the Kansas Cagerz and Lleida Bàsquet in Europe before joining the Gießen 46ers of Germany's Basketball Bundesliga.
Maurice has averaged 11 points and 4 rebounds per game over his career, with a particular emphasis on 3-point shooting (41%) from downtown. Injuries have limited Maurice to playing in just 41 games since making his debut in 2006–07, but he remains an integral part of the 46ers team. A versatile player, Maurice can play both inside and outside positions, giving him an edge when it comes to matchup versatility against other teams' players.
With one year left on his contract with Gießen after this season, there's no telling what kind of impact Maurice will make next year - if at all - as he deals with nagging injuries once again.
. . The 2001 NBA Draft marked an important milestone in the history of the National Basketball Association. Many of the best players in league history were drafted that year, including Duncan, Nash, Garnett and Rose.
These stars have helped guide their teams to multiple championships and are considered among the greatest players in league history.
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