Former Kentucky sharpshooter Malik Monk is headed to Charlotte. The Hornets took him with the 11th pick in the NBA Draft on Thursday.
Monk helped lead Kentucky to an Elite Eight berth in last season’s NCAA Tournament. The 6-foot-3 sniper led the Wildcats with 19.8 points per game and he shot 39.7 percent from behind the arc.
Monk was the second Kentucky player taken in the draft. De’Aaron Fox went No. 5 to the Sacramento Kings. Freshman power forward Bam Adebayo went No. 14 to the Miami Heat. Monk will join former Wildcats star Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in Charlotte.
Here are five things to know about Monk.
1. Monk was named SEC Freshman of the Year
He joined Kentucky teammates De’Aaron Fox and Bam Adebayo as members of the All-SEC team, but it was Monk who was named SEC Freshman of the Year. The three Wildcats star freshmen elected to go one-and-done.
2. Monk set a Kentucky freshman scoring record
Monk scored 47 points in one of the best college basketball games of the season. He did it under the Las Vegas lights Dec. 17 against North Carolina in a 103-100 Kentucky win. The mark was a Kentucky freshman scoring record, and Monk’s final bucket was a game-winning 3-pointer with 22 seconds left.
3. Monk wears his hometown of Lepanto, Ark., on his chest
Monk has a reminder of where he’s from tattooed across his chest. “It’s a sprawling scene in ink of the neighborhood park in Monk’s hometown of Lepanto, Ark. – population 1,893 – where he learned about basketball, toughness and life during hours-long games against grown men.” SEC Country’s Kyle Tucker told the story of Monk and the hometown that made him.
4. He’s the first freshman to win the SEC scoring title since 1989
And the record came down to the slimmest of margins. Monk averaged 21.161 points per game in league play while South Carolina’s Sindarius Thornwell averaged 21.160 points per game. Monk was the first freshman to win the SEC scoring title since LSU’s Chris Jackson in 1989.
5. Monk’s brother, Marcus, was a star receiver at Arkansas
Marcus Monk is ninth all-time in the SEC record book for career touchdown catches. He caught 27 touchdowns from 2004-07 for the Razorbacks. Monk was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft. Malik was heavily recruited by Arkansas, but opted for John Calipari’s Cats instead.