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Friday, November 03, 2006

NBADL Austin Toros Select Darius Washington as First Pick

Toros Select Darius Washington as First Pick

11/03/06 - NBA Development League (D-League)
Austin Toros

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 2, 2006 - The Austin Toros selected Darius Washington Jr. with their first pick (10th overall) in the 2006-07 NBA Development League draft. A 6'2, 195 pound guard from Winter Park, Fla., Washington finished his collegiate career at the University of Memphis by becoming the 41st player in school history to score 1,000 points, finishing with 1,054 points in only two seasons.

"There was a glaring need and a big hole on our team at point guard," Toros head coach Dennis Johnson said. "I like that he is a pass first guy and a leader on the court, he knows how to set up people - he is an all around guard that has a great chance to make an impact in the League."

Washington played two seasons for the Tigers averaging 14.4 points and 3.5 assists throughout his career. As a sophomore, he earned First Team All-Conference USA honors and was a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award, which recognizes the best point guard in the country.

Former Georgia Tech University guard B.J. Elder was selected by the Toros with the 13th pick in the second round. Elder, 6'4 and 218 pounds, played last season for the Giessen 46ers in Germany, averaging 12.9 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists. He helped the 46ers reached the Bundesliga Cup Semifinals.

"What you get out of a guy like B.J. (Elder) is that he can play both guard positions," Johnson said. "When you need him to run a play or hit the big shot, he definitely can because he is so versatile."

The rest of the Austin Toros draft selections: Brock Gillespie (Rice), Walt Walters (Cleveland State), Justin Bowen (Illinois-Chicago), Rod Benson (California), Tedric Hill (Gulf Coast Community College - Fla.), Dustin Brown (Loyola Marymount), Ty Thomas (Concordia - Minn.) and Melvin Scott (North Carolina).

The Austin Toros' regular season home opener is Saturday, Nov. 25 against the Fort Worth Flyers at 7 p.m. at the Austin Convention Center. The regular season tips off Friday, Nov. 24 against the defending D-League champion Albuquerque Thunderbirds in New Mexico. For ticket information call the Toros at (512) 236-8333 or visit

The following are the results of the Toros 2006 NBA Development League draft selections:

1. Darius Washington Jr., Memphis
2. B.J. Elder, Georgia Tech
3. Brock Gillespie, Rice
4. Walt Walters, Cleveland State
5. Justin Bowen, Illinois-Chicago
6. Rod Benson, California
7. Tedric Hill, Gulf Coast Community College (Fla.)
8. Dustin Brown, Loyola Marymount
9. Ty Thomas, Concordia (Minn.)
10. Melvin Scott, North Carolina

The NBA Development League tips off its sixth season on Friday, November 24. The league includes Albuquerque Thunderbirds (N.M.), Anaheim (Calif.), Arkansas RimRockers (Little Rock), Austin Toros (Texas), Bakersfield Jam (Calif.), Colorado 14ers (Broomfield), Dakota Wizards (Bismarck, N.D.), Fort Worth Flyers (Texas), Idaho Stampede (Boise), Los Angeles, Sioux Falls Skyforce (S.D.) and Tulsa 66ers (Okla.).

The D-League offers players an opportunity to develop their talent in a highly competitive atmosphere under the NBA's umbrella. In addition to thirty-four (34) players, eleven (11) former D-League coaches, six athletic trainers, 14 referees and 30 front office executives have also earned call-ups since the start of the league's inaugural season in November 2001.

Designed to help grow the sport of basketball both domestically and internationally, the league also offers fun, family entertainment at affordable prices. The D-League is a source for on-court talent for the NBA's 30 teams and is a diverse human resources pool for the NBA and its teams by training employees in management, operations, public relations, sales and marketing positions.

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