NEW YORK (KSEE) – On June 26th, 2002, the NBA Draft took place in New York City with 28 players being selected in the first round. Of those 28, two went to Fresno State: Melvin Ely and Chris Jefferies.
Ely went No. 12 to the Clippers, while Jefferies went No. 27 to the Lakers (though he was later traded to the Raptors).
Melvin Ely and Chris Jefferies are two of five Fresno State players to be first-round NBA draft picks. The first was Bernard Thompson in 1984, followed by Courtney Alexander in 2000, then Ely and Jefferies in 2002 and finally Paul George in 2010.
Melvin Ely left Fresno State as the Bulldogs’ all-time leading scorer. He is now second, behind Marvelle Harris. He is also second all-time in rebounding and he is first in blocked shots.
Ely was an honorable mention all-American in 2001 and he is a two-time WAC Player of the Year.
Chris Jefferies, a Fresno native (Washington Union High School), played for the Bulldogs after one season at Arkansas. He was first team all-WAC during the 2000-2001 season. The following season, he missed the last 13 games with a knee injury.
Before the injury, he averaged 17.3 ppg and 6.3 rpg.