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NORTH LIBERTY — It took nearly all night, but it was worth the wait for Iowa guard Devyn Marble.
The Orlando Magic — through a trade with the Denver Nuggets — selected Marble in the second round of Thursday’s NBA draft. He was picked No. 56 overall. He is the first Iowa player selected in the draft since Adam Haluska in 2007.
The usually stoic Marble admitted he lost his composure when he received the call, first from his agent, former Iowa star B.J. Armstrong, then from Magic officials.
“It was very emotional, and I’m not even an emotional guy,” Marble said. “I was happy to come this far. So much hard work was put into it. I don’t think people truly understand how hard I had to work to get where I’m at today. I think all that poured out all at once. I’m blessed to be in this position.”
Marble hosted a small draft party of about 25 at a sports bar in Southfield, Mich. He was joined by his father, Roy Marble, who was a 1989 first-round draft pick of the Atlanta Hawks. His family and friends, Iowa’s full coaching staff and former teammates Melsahn Basabe and Anthony Clemmons also attended the draft party.
At times the evening became frustrating, and Marble wondered at times if he would get selected.
“It would be naive to say that I didn’t think either way,” Marble said. “I was pretty confident I was going to get picked because I knew there were some teams coming up that I had worked out for and were genuinely interested in me. We thought I’d go higher but as the clock was winding down and the picks were getting shorter and shorter, you’re just sitting there thinking, ‘What’s going on?’ But like I said, I’m just happy I did get picked by a great organization with a great chance to be on a roster come this fall.”
A first-team all-Big Ten guard, Marble averaged 18.3 points in Big Ten play. He scored in double digits in 17 of 18 league games and is the first Big Ten player in 26 years to end his career with more than 1,650 points, 375 assists, 450 rebounds and 175 steals. Marble, 21, ended his Iowa career with 1,694 points, finishing fifth all-time.
Marble did not work out for the Magic because Orlando had only a pair of first-round picks at No. 4 and 12 entering the draft. He instead focused on teams that were more in line with his expectations, which were late first round to mid-second round. But Orlando was interested in Marble and maneuvered back in the draft to pick him.
“It was surreal,” he said. “At first I was just happy, blessed to have been taken off the board. I think the Orlando Magic is a great organization for me. They’ve got some young guys with talent. I think it’s a good spot for me, to be honest.”
He’s projected as a wing player and likely will come off the bench. The Magic picked Arizona power forward Aaron Gordon with their first pick and then tabbed Louisiana-Lafayette point guard Elfrid Payton through a trade. Orlando has two former Big Ten guards in Victor Oladipo (Indiana) and E’Twaun Moore (Purdue).
Orlando acquired the pick along with Evan Fournier by trading leading scorer Arron Afflalo to Denver. The Magic was last in the NBA’s Southeast Division with a 23-59 record.
Marble, who stands 6-foot-6 1/2 and weighs 192 pounds, will report to Orlando on Friday for a news conference, come back to Detroit on Saturday, then return to Florida early next week to begin his pro career.
ISU’S KANE, EJIM UNDRAFTED
A pair of Iowa State players were considered potential draft candidates but were not selected. Guard DeAndre Kane and forward Melvin Ejim had high accolades and considered among the top players undrafted.
Kane, 24, was named a first-team all-Big 12 selection and the league newcomer of the year. He was one of two players nationally to average at least 17.1 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game.
The ISU point guard, who was a transfer from Marshall, stands 6-foot-4 1/2 and weighs 200 pounds. Kane is the only player in NCAA history with more than 2,000 points, 700 rebounds and 600 assists.
Ejim, 23, was selected as the Big 12’s player of the year by both coaches and media. He earned All-American honors by several outlets and was the Big 12’s scholar-athlete of the Year. Ejim stands 6-7 and weighs 220 pounds was second in Big 12 scoring (18.2) and rebounding (8.6) and set a league record with 48 points and 18 rebounds against TCU.
“Whatever happens, whether they get drafted or not, they’re both going to be in good positions to be in a situation where I think they can make a roster,” Iowa State Coach Fred Hoiberg said before the draft. “The summer league will be very important for both of those guys, whether they play in Orlando or Las Vegas.”
Royce White was Iowa State’s last draft pick in 2012. Since 2004, Iowa State has had (five) NBA draft picks.
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