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Lance Stephenson Taken in the Second Round of the NBA Draft

Associated Press

The Indiana Pacers selected Stephenson with the 10th pick in the second round -- 40th overall.

NEW YORK — Cincinnati guard and 2010 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year Lance Stephenson (Brooklyn, N.Y./Lincoln) was taken in the second round of the 2010 National Basketball Association Draft Thursday at Madison Square Garden in New York.

The Indiana Pacers selected Stephenson with the 10th pick in the second round — 40th overall. He is the first Bearcat to be taken in the NBA Draft since James White was taken by Portland in the second round in 2006. Since 1950, 56 Cincinnati basketball players have been drafted by NBA teams, including 10 first-round selections.

“I know that playing in the NBA has been a lifelong goal for Lance and our entire program is excited for him and his family,” said fifth-year UC head coach Mick Cronin. “I thank Lance for his efforts at Cincinnati and want him to know how much we appreciate his loyalty to us. I personally look forward to watching Lance grow and develop as a professional and as a man.”

Stephenson was the sixth BIG EAST Conference player taken in the 2010 NBA Draft. He joins veterans Jason Maxiell (Detroit) and Kenyon Martin (Denver) as former Bearcats active in the NBA.

In March, Stephenson was named the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, becoming the first UC men’s basketball player to earn the distinction since the Bearcats joined the BIG EAST Conference in 2005-06. He joined DerMarr Johnson (1999-00 – Conference USA), Danny Fortson (1994-95 – Great Midwest Conference), and Dontonio Wingfield (1993-94 – Great Midwest Conference) as the only players in program history to earn freshman/rookie/newcomer of the year honors.

Stephenson led all BIG EAST freshmen in scoring in overall games (12.3 ppg) and conference-only games (12.1 ppg). He also finished in the Top 5 overall among league freshmen in rebounds (5.4 rpg/4th), steals (1.0 spg/5th), and assists (2.4 apg/4th).

Four times this season, the 6-foot-5 guard from Brooklyn, N.Y., was named BIG EAST Rookie of the Week, the most by any incoming player. Stephenson won the weekly award the last two weeks of the regular season after averaging 16.8 points and 8.3 rebounds per game over UC’s last four contests. He also added 11 assists and five steals during the stretch.

Stephenson committed to the Bearcats last summer after a highly-decorated prep career at Lincoln High School, where he averaged 28.9 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 3.9 assists to earn Class AA New York State Sports Writers Association (NYSSWA) Player of the Year honors his senior year. He graduated high school as the all-time leading scorer in the history of the state of New York with 2,946 points, passing fellow Lincoln High grad Sebastian Telfair, who was the 13th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft and now plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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