The NBA Draft couldn’t have played out any better for Mfiondu Kabengele and Terance Mann. From Florida State to the LA Clippers, they will be teammates again as they begin their pro careers.
Florida State standout Mfiondu Kabengele went from a lightly regarded recruit to a first-round NBA draft pick. Kabengele was drafted by the Brooklyn Nets with the No. 27 overall pick but is headed to the Los Angeles Clippers as part of a trade, ESPN reported. Mann was later picked in the second round by the Clippers.
The 6-foot-10, 250-pound Kabengele thanked FSU coach Leonard Hamilton as well as assistant coach Dennis Gates (who first saw him as a recruit) and assistants Charlton Young and Stan Jones.
“You work your whole life for this. I’m just very grateful,” Kabengele said. ” … I thank coach Ham and coach Gates for believing in me. I thank Coach CY, working on my game. Coach Jones, my teammates. Everyone at Florida State. I’m thankful for ‘Nole Nation.”
The ACC’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2018-19, Kabengele averaged 13.2 points and 5.9 rebounds. He is capable of doing a little bit of everything, showing off good post moves along with a consistent jump shot and the ability to play defense.
Kabengele was a contributor in 2017-18 but immediately flashed his potential. He needed a redshirt season to reshape his body and get ready for college basketball and his journey from prep basketball player to the ACC was a lesson in patience and hard work.
What will the Clippers get?
“Lot of energy, lot of hard work, lot of growth,” Kabengele said. “Just any way that I can contribute.”
And his FSU teammate, Terance Mann, will be joining Kabengele in LA. The Clippers also selected Mann in the second round, at No. 48 overall.
Ten of the NBA’s 30 first-round picks were from ACC schools, led by No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson to New Orleans.
FSU draft picks in Leonard Hamilton Era
2019 – Mifondu Kabengele, 27th overall (first round) by Brooklyn (headed to LA Clippers)
2019 – Terance Mann, 48th overall (second round) by LA Clippers
2017 – Jonathan Isaac, 7th overall (first round) by Orlando
2017 – Dwayne Bacon, 40th overall (second round) by New Orleans (traded to Charlotte)
2016 – Malik Beasley, 19th overall (first round) by Denver
2012 – Bernard James, 33rd overall (second round) by Cleveland (traded to Dallas)
2011 – Chris Singleton, 18th overall (first round) by Washington
2010 – Solomon Alabi, 50th overall (second round) by Dallas
2010 – Ryan Reid, 57th overall (second round) by Indiana
2009 – Toney Douglas, 29th overall (first round) by LA Lakers
2007 – Al Thornton, 14th overall (first round) by LA Clippers
2006 – Alexander Johnson, 45th overall (second round) by Indiana
2005 – Von Wafer, 39th overall (second round) by LA Lakers
2004 – Tim Pickett, 44th overall (second round) by New Orleans