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Press Release on Second-Rounders

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From the Blazers:

TRAIL BLAZERS SELECT DANTE CUNNINGHAM AND

PATRICK MILLS IN SECOND ROUND

Cunningham taken with 33rd pick, Mills selected 55th

 

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Trail Blazers selected forward Dante Cunningham with the 33rd pick and guard Patrick Mills with the 55th pick in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft, it was announced today by General Manager Kevin Pritchard.

Cunningham, 22, played in a school-record 139 games during his four-year career at Villanova and is one of six players in school history to reach 1,300 points and 800 rebounds. The 6-8, 230-pound Maryland native finished his collegiate career with averages of 9.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.17 steals.

As a senior, Cunningham was named the Big East's Most Improved Player and was a member of the All-Big East Second Team after leading the Wildcats in scoring and rebounding with averages of 16.1 points and 7.5 boards.

Mills, 20, was an early entry candidate for the NBA Draft out of St. Mary's (CA) College, where he posted averages of 16.4 points, 2.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.97 steals in two seasons. He was a First Team All-WCC selection as a freshman and a sophomore.

Mills became the youngest Australian to play basketball in the Olympics after competing in the 2008 Beijing Games. He averaged a team-high 14.2 points to go with 2.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.7 steals, scoring 20 points in a quarterfinal game vs. the United States.

Cunningham and Mills round out a draft night that saw the Trail Blazers select Spanish forward Victor Claver with the 22nd overall pick and acquire the draft rights to forward Jeff Pendergraph, who was selected 31st overall.

 --Dave (blazersub@!yahoo.com)