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June 25, 2009

Harden selected third overall in NBA Draft

Arizona State's James Harden was selected by Oklahoma City with the third overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft Thursday.

A 6-foot-5 guard from Los Angeles, Calif., Harden played two years at ASU before declaring for the draft after winning Pac-10 Player of the Year honors in 2008-09.

As a sophomore, Harden averaged 20.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per game and was a consensus All-American. He earned first-team All-American honors from the Associated Press, NABC, Sporting News, FoxSports.com, CBSSports.com, and Basketball Times.

In his final season in Tempe, Harden guided the Sun Devils to the second-round of the NCAA Tournament for just the second time since 1995.

Harden is the second-highest Sun Devil ever selected. Only Joe Caldwell in 1964 (second overall and first Sun Devil ever drafted) was higher. Harden was selected as high as any Pac-10 player in the last 10 years. O.J. Mayo was the third overall pick in last year's draft.

Also Thursday, Jeff Pendergraph was selected by Sacramento with the first pick of the second round (No. 31 overall) and that pick was expected to be traded to Portland according to multiple reports.

Pendergraph a 6-foot-9 power forward from Etiwanda, Calif., recently concluded a four-year Sun Devil career that saw him finish among the Top-10 in numerous statistical categories, including first in starts, first in games played, sixth in points, second in rebounds and sixth in blocked shots.

As a senior in 2008-09, Pendergraph averaged 14.5 points and 8.2 rebounds on his way to first-team all-conference honors. He led the nation with a 66 percent field goal percentage.

Pendergraph earned an Economics degree from ASU.

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