Former Hutchinson Community College All-American basketball player Darius Johnson-Odom became the first Blue Dragon selected in the NBA Draft in 15 years on Thursday night.
Johnson-Odom was a second-round selection of the Dallas Mavericks. He was the 55th overall pick. Then moments after his selection, his draft rights were traded to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Johnson-Odom is the first Blue Dragon selected in the NBA Draft since Nate Erdmann was drafted in the second round by the Utah Jazz in 1997. Since 1988, six former Blue Dragons were selected – Ben Gillery (1988 in second round by Sacramento), Shaun Vandiver (1991 in first round by Golden State), Roy Hairston (1996 in second round by New Jersey), Ben Davis (1996 in second round by Phoenix) and Erdmann.
Johnson-Odom was a Blue Dragon for just one season, playing at HCC in the 2008-09 season after playing at Patterson Prep in North Carolina.
Johnson-Odom, a 6-foot-2 guard from Raleigh, N.C., was the sixth NJCAA first-team and 24th overall All-American in Blue Dragon history. He was also named to the 2009 first-team All-Jayhawk West and first-team All-Region VI. Johnson-Odom was also named 2009 Jayhawk West Freshman of the Year.
Johnson-Odom put together one of the most impressive single seasons in the past 15 seasons at HCC. He finished with 692 total points and a 21.6 point-per-game scoring average, which led Region VI and ranked 14th in the NJCAA.
He shot 47.9 percent overall from the field, including 38.8 percent from 3-point range. He is a 77 percent free-throw shooter. Johnson-Odom averaged 5.2 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.5 steals and 0.5 blocked shots per game. Johnson-Odom also owns the freshman record for free throws (191).
He had 22 games of 20 or more points, four of 30 or more points and a school record 46 points against Coffeyville at the Jayhawk Shootout.
During a three-game stretch in the first semester of 30, 46 and 32 points, where he shot 48.3 percent overall and 44.4 percent (16 of 36) from 3-point range. Those numbers garnered him NJCAA National Player of the Week honors.
Johnson-Odom had two games in the HCC single-game Top 10. He scored 37 points in an 83-66 victory over Pratt.
Johnson-Odom moved onto Marquette University after the 2009 season and had three seasons playing in the Big East Conference.
In his senior season with the Golden Eagles, Johnson-Odom was named Honorable Mention All-America by the Associated Press.
An All-Big East first-team selection and member of the NABC District 5 First Team, he averaged 18.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game in 2011-12 and finished among the league leaders in scoring (2nd, 18.3 ppg.), free throw percentage (14th, .764), 3-point field goal percentage (7th, .385) and 3-pointers per game (4th, 2.26).
In just three seasons, Johnson-Odom finished 11th on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,649 points, fourth in 3-pointers made (221), eighth in 3-pointers attempted (549) and ninth in 3-point field goal percentage (.403).
Johnson-Odom’s Marquette teammate Jae Crowder, a member of Howard’s 2010 NJCAA national championship team, was taken by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round on Thursday night. Crowder was then traded to the Mavericks later Thursday night.
(HCC Sports Information)