clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NBA Draft 2021: Charles Bassey selected 53rd by Philadelphia

We had to wait a while to hear Bassey’s name called, but the big guy is finally a pro.

NCAA Basketball: Conference USA Tournament-UAB vs Western Kentucky Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Charles Bassey has officially made his NBA dreams a reality. The Western Kentucky Hilltopper went 53rd overall to the Philadelphia 76ers Thursday night in the NBA Draft.

Many expected Bassey to be a no-brainer one-and-done prospect after he took the unconventional route for a top recruit, opting for a Conference USA school over a blue-blood. Instead, he played three years of college basketball and persevered even when things weren’t perfect. Bassey suffered a season-ending injury 10 games into his sophomore season then came back this year to put up his best numbers as Hilltopper, averaging 17.6 points 11.1 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game.

Bassey showed scouts how dominant he can be en route to being named Conference USA Player of the Year. He showed up in big games, scoring 27 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in an upset win against Alabama, and recording seven blocks in a non-conference win against Memphis.

Bassey is projected to be a rim-running center who will be able to contribute immediately on offense. There was optimism that Bassey could be picked in the first round. However, his stock dropped late due to his inability to defend in space.

Bassey has the pieces for a long NBA career. When things go wrong, we know he has the resilience to bounce back.