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What Are The NBA Draft Highlights Of The Nebraska Cornhuskers?

Nebraska is stuck in a drought when it comes to having its players drafted during the NBA Draft. A look back at previous drafts and a quick look at this year's draft to see if anyone can end the streak.

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

As the NBA Draft approaches, BTPowerhouse continues its look back at the draft history of every Big Ten program. It's now time to take a look at the history of the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the NBA Draft.

Over the history of the draft, 26 players who attended Nebraska were drafted into the league. Within those 26 are three first-rounders and two second-rounders. However, no players have been drafted since Venson Hamilton, a second round pick in the 1999 draft.

First Round Picks:


Year Drafted



Rich King




Eric Piatkowski




Tyronn Lue




Of the 26 draftees, only seven actually played in NBA games. Of any Nebraska player that was drafted, Eric Piatkowski led the way in games played with 789 games from 1995 until 2008. He averaged 7.5 points while playing 18.5 minutes over 14 NBA seasons. He now serves as the color analyst for the Nebraska men's basketball team under Fox Sports Midwest.

Rich King, a 7 foot, 2-inch center, appeared in just 72 games and started twice. He finished his career after appearing in just four seasons, scoring 135 total points. King's career was cut short after undergoing a number of surgeries.

Probably the most recognizable name of this list today is Tyronn Lue, the 23rd overall pick in 1998. Of course, Lue is now the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers and recently won a NBA championship. As a player, Lue played for seven NBA teams across 14 seasons. Maybe the most memorable moment of his playing career was when Allen Iverson stepped over Lue after knocking down a shot in the first game of the 2001 NBA Finals. Not exactly something you want to be remembered for, but it really sums up the trio of former Cornhuskers to go in the first round.

Second Round Picks


Year Drafted

Marvin Stewart


Venson Hamilton


While two Nebraska players have been taken in the second round, neither has appeared in a NBA game.

After becoming the 16th pick, Marvin Stewart was signed to a multi-year contract with the Philadelphia Sixers. Just a month and a half later, Stewart was placed on waivers, became a free agent and never signed again with another NBA organization.

Venson Hamilton, an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention in 1998 with First Team and Big 12 Player of the Year honors in 1999, was the 21st pick to the Houston Rockets that same year. After not appearing in an NBA game, Hamilton signed with Ikaros BC in Greece in 2009.

Other Picks



Round, Pick

Bob Retherford


8, 68

Milt Whitehead


7, 78

Bob Pierce


5, 43

Jim Buchanan


6, 57

Bill Johnson


11, 94

Herschell Turner


6, 45

Grant Simmons


12, 100

Willie Campbell


15, 152

Stu Lantz


3, 23

Tom Baack


10, 126

Jim Brooks


12, 184

Leroy Chalk


13, 201

Mike Peterson


16, 195

Chuck Jara


3, 45

Brendy Lee


10, 168

Jerry Fort


3, 51

Carl McPipe


5, 103

Andre Smith


7, 142

Jack Moore


9, 189

Curtis Moore


6, 131

Dave Hoppen


3, 65

Of any Nebraska player to be drafted into the NBA, it was 1969 third-round pick Stu Lantz who led the way with 12.4 points per game. He enjoyed his best season in the 1970-1971 season, averaging 20.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists as a member of the San Diego Rockets.

Undrafted Free Agents

The most recent Cornhusker to run the court during an NBA game was undrafted free agent Mikki Moore. The former Nebraska center enjoyed a 13-year career, spending time with nine different organizations before retiring as a member of the Golden State Warriors after the 2012 season.

Terran Petteway, a 2015 undrafted free agent, was signed by the Atlanta Hawks before singing with the Indiana Pacers. Petteway eventually found his way into the D-League, where he played for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. In 49 games, the former Cornhusker averaged 11.6 points in 26.6 minutes a game. Now a free agent, Petteway will look to sign with another team in hopes of jumpstarting a career in the NBA.

Hope for the Future?

Petteway arguably had the best chance to break the Cornhuskers draft-less steak last season. After not getting drafted, all eyes turned to Shavon Shields and whether he could sneak his way into the NBA Draft this year.Barring a complete surprise, it doesn't appear that Shields will hear his name called on Thursday either, so who would be the next most likely draft pick?

Well, after withdrawing his name from this year's draft, Andrew White III has the chance to improve upon his first year in Lincoln after transferring from Kansas. White III was right behind Shields in points per game and now, with Shields graduated, should be able to take his game to the next level.

If White III is able to improve upon his impressive 2015-2016 season, he may just be able to break the Cornhuskers' streak of having a player drafted in the NBA Draft.