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Saturday, August 8, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Weaver goes from from Coug to Cat


Weaver
 (The Spokesman-Review)
Weaver (The Spokesman-Review)

It was a little longer wait than he might have wanted, but Kyle Weaver finally heard his name called.

The former Washington State guard was selected in the second round of the NBA draft, 38th overall, by the Charlotte Bobcats.

“I didn’t know what to expect, so it seemed about right to me,” Weaver said from Beloit, Wis., where he watched the draft with family and friends. “A lot of things happened in the draft, but I know I ended my college career in Charlotte and I get to start my pro career there.”

Weaver was Charlotte’s third selection in the 2008 draft. He also is the second player in three years the Bobcats have plucked from an Inland Northwest school. Two years ago the Bobcats picked Gonzaga’s Adam Morrison with the third overall selection.

The other Bobcat picks Thursday were 6-foot point guard D.J. Augustin from Texas with the ninth overall selection and Alexis Ajinca, a 7-1, 240-pound power forward from France, with the 20th pick.

“They’re young and they get up and down (the court), from what I know,” Weaver said about the Bobcats. “They’ve got (new coach) Larry Brown and (managing partner) Michael Jordan, so there are a lot of positives right now.”

Weaver, who toured 15 NBA cities for workouts over the past few weeks, didn’t work out for the Bobcats. Still, he said he wasn’t surprised they picked him.

“I think it’s more ironic than surprising,” he said.

The Bobcats finished the 2007-2008 season 32-50 due in large part to injuries – Morrison was one of those hurt, missing the year with a knee injury. The team recently hired Brown, who won an NBA title with the Detroit Pistons and an NCAA championship with Kansas.

When asked if he would like to work out with Jordan, considered by many the greatest player in NBA history, Weaver laughed and said “that would be nice to get out there working with him, shoot around a little bit.”

By falling to the second round, the 6-6 Weaver failed to join Don Collins as the only Cougars drafted in the first round. Collins, who helped WSU to the NCAA tournament in 1980, was picked 18th overall by Atlanta.

Weaver was the first Cougar drafted since forward Mark Hendrickson, now pitching for the Florida Marlins, taken 31st in the 1996 draft by the Philadelphia 76ers.

Players selected in the first round of the NBA draft sign three-year guaranteed contracts while second-round selections rarely receive guaranteed money.

“This is just another stepping stone for me,” Weaver said. “Now I get to start a new chapter, show everyone I belong again.”

Weaver’s name is all over the WSU record books and he is believed to be the only Pac-10 player to record more than 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 400 assists, 150 steals and 75 blocks in a career.

Over his four years in Pullman, Weaver averaged 9.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.8 assists. He also was named to the All-Pac-10 defensive team twice.

The Cougars won 52 games in the last two seasons, reaching the NCAA tournament both years, including reaching the Sweet 16 last season, losing to North Carolina in Charlotte.

Weaver’s running mate at guard, Derrick Low, was not drafted.

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