Parsons, Macklin selected in second round of NBA draft

Chandler Parsons was selected with the 38th overall pick in the NBA draft by the Houston Rockets on Thursday night.

Published: Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 10:48 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, June 24, 2011 at 12:14 a.m.

Two Florida Gators were picked Thursday night in the NBA draft.

Florida senior forward Chandler Parsons was taken 38th overall in the second round by the Houston Rockets. And senior center Vernon Macklin was taken 52nd overall in the second round by the Detroit Pistons.

Parsons and Macklin were the first Florida players drafted since Nick Calathes went in the second round of the 2009 NBA draft.

“I'm excited,” Parsons said. “I feel like Houston is a great opportunity. It was a really long night watching the draft, but this is a process. I'm just really happy and heading on a plane to Houston first thing (Friday).”

Parsons, the SEC player of the year, averaged 11.3 points per game in his senior season while finishing third in the SEC in rebounding (7.8 rpg) and sixth in assists (3.8 apg).

Macklin, who had a second workout with the Pistons on Tuesday, scored a career-high 25 points in his final collegiate game against Butler. A transfer from Georgetown, Macklin averaged 11.6 points and 5.6 rebounds while leading the SEC in field-goal percentage (59.6).

“Honestly, I was just as happy to see Vernon get picked,” Parsons said.

Parsons and Macklin became the 32nd and 33rd players drafted in UF history. Under current coach Billy Donovan, Florida has had eight players selected in the first round and seven players picked in the second round.

The 6-foot-10 Parsons, whose 859 career rebounds rank ninth in UF history, said he had a feeling that Houston had some interest in him during workouts.

“Their workout was actually one of the hardest and the longest,” Parsons said. “But they were one of the teams that really showed interest because of my ability to play multiple positions. They have a new coach in Kevin McHale. So I feel like I was the guy they wanted.”

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