Bam Adebayo climbed his way into the lottery as the Miami Heat selected the Kentucky forward 14th overall in the NBA Draft on Thursday.
Heat president Pat Riley, a former Kentucky Wildcat, opted to draft one of his own in Adebayo.
The 6-foot-10 Dwight Howard lookalike provided a steady inside presence for the Wildcats last season. He averaged 13 points and 8 rebounds per game while leading Kentucky with 57 blocks.
Adebayo was the third Kentucky player taken in the lottery. De’Aaron Fox was taken No. 5 by the Sacramento Kings and Malik Monk went No. 11 to the Charlotte Hornets.
Here are five things to know about Adebayo.
1. He broke Anthony Davis’ record for dunks in the John Calipari era
Adebayo slammed home 101 shots. The previous dunk record in John Calipari’s tenure at Kentucky was 92 by Anthony Davis in 2011-12. The dunks helped Adebayo lead Kentucky with a 59.9 field goal percentage.
2. Adebayo was named second-team All-SEC
The league’s coaches and the Associated Press both placed Adebayo on the All-SEC second team. His freshman teammates De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk grabbed spots on the first team. Adebayo surged in the second half of the season, notching double-doubles in five of his last 11 games.
3. Adebayo said Calipari urged him to turn pro
The North Carolina native didn’t initially hire an agent when he put his name in the NBA draft pool. It left open the option for him to return to Kentucky for his sophomore season. But after talking to his mom, Kentucky assistant Kenny Payne and Calipari, he decided to turn pro. “He felt like I was doubting my potential,” Adebayo said of Calipari. “He was like, ‘What’s wrong with you, man?’ He was like, ‘Go!’ I was like, ‘All right.’ ”
4. The forward was the only Wildcat to start all 38 games
He was the ultimate model of consistency for Calipari’s Cats. Adebayo was often overshadowed by the flash of Fox and Monk, but he logged the third-most minutes (30.1 per game) on the team — a feat most big men can’t accomplish.
5. Adebayo’s real first name is Edrice
Adebayo’s mom, Marilyn Blount, gave him the nickname “Bam” when he was 1. Edrice, at the time, was watching ‘The Flintstones’ and flipped over a coffee table. His nameplate at the NBA combine said Edrice, to which he said: “It’s Bam. Edrice is the guy in the suit.”