Undrafted Poythress gets NBA chance


Forward Alex Poythress of the Kentucky Wildcats wipes tears from eyes after Kentucky’s loss during the NCAA Tournament second round game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Wells Fargo Arena on Saturday, March 19, 2016 in Des Moines, Iowa. Kentucky fell to Indiana 73-67. Photo by Michael Reaves | Staff.

Kevin Erpenbeck

Former Kentucky forward Alex Poythress wasn’t selected in the NBA Draft Thursday night in Brooklyn, N.Y., but he will get a chance to be in the NBA when he plays for the Orlando Magic in the Orlando Summer League, according to a report by DraftExpress.

The 6-foot-8 four-year player from Clarksville, Tenn., returned from an ACL injury he suffered during the 2014-15 season and averaged 10.2 points and 6.0 rebounds his senior year.

After being projected as a possible late-second pick in the NBA Draft by ESPN’s Chad Ford, Poythress watched from his hometown as his name went uncalled throughout the night.

“I wouldn’t trade my years at Kentucky for the world,” Poythress told SEC Country on June 20. “I matured. I learned how to handle things. I had everything thrown my way, different adversities — I’ve been through it all — and I just learned how to take a punch and get back up and keep on fighting. … I know people gave up on me, but I never gave up on myself.”

Poythress was named to CoSIDA’s Academic All-America Second Team after his senior season, and was a finalist for the Arthur Ashe Jr. Player of the Year Award. He was also named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll for the fourth consecutive year.

Poythress was considered a possible lottery pick after his first year at UK. However, multiple injuries set the big man back, including his season-ending ACL injury his junior year and a knee injury last season. Poythress was the first Kentucky player signed to a scholarship by head coach John Calipari to play as a senior.

The Orlando Summer League will begin on July 2.