28 Jun 2013

Adams picked by Oklahoma

6:43 pm on 28 June 2013

Steven Adams has made history by becoming the first New Zealand basketball player to be selected in the first round of America's NBA Draft.

Rotorua-born Adams went to the Oklahoma City Thunder as the 12th pick, and will earn a $2 million salary a year for the next two years.

The 2.13 metre tall centre - that's seven foot in the old imperial measurements - turns 20 on Saturday.

Adams is set to become the third New Zealander to play in the NBA, after Sean Marks and Kirk Penney but the Rotorua-born big man isn't sure if he's ready for the big show.

Adams says he hasn't really come up against any NBA players yet so while he's dominated some college players, he can't really say - though he'd like to say he is up to the level, he doesn't want to get ahead of himself.

The Thunder won the Western Conference finals in 2012, losing in the finals to the Miami Heat.

Adams is the first University of Pittsburgh player drafted since 1999.

Versatile 2.03 metre Canadian forward Anthony Bennett of the University of Nevada was the number one pick for the Cleveland Cavaliers.