NEW YORK The University of Utah made history Tuesday night when the Milwaukee Bucks announced Andrew Bogut's name as the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft.
Bogut's No. 1 selection along with quarterback Alex Smith being drafted No. 1 by the San Francisco 49ers in April's NFL Draft made the University of Utah the first college to have No. 1 draft choices the same year in the major sports of football and basketball.
Utah athletic director Chris Hill, who is in San Francisco attending NCAA basketball meetings, is thrilled that two of the U.'s athletes were chosen No. 1. He said it gives great exposure to the school, and he is happy for his two athletes.
"It's phenomenal," Hill said. "Before the year began, nobody would have believed that either of these guys would be No. 1 picks. It just shows that you can do it from the University of Utah. This helps put a little sunshine on Utah."
Before this year, there were 13 occasions when schools had two top-five picks in the NFL and NBA drafts. The last time it happened was 1990, when Illinois had Jeff George drafted No. 1 by Indianapolis in the NFL Draft and Kendall Gill going No. 5 to Charlotte in the NBA Draft.
On Tuesday, Smith praised Bogut's No. 1 draft selection. "It is great recognition for both the state and the University of Utah," he said. "This will certainly benefit future student athletes and athletic programs at the university. It is a reflection of the university's commitment to academic and athletic programs. I wish Andrew great luck; I know that he will do well. He is a great player, and I wish him the best."
Bogut said he is acquainted with Smith but wasn't a close friend at the U. When he was in town 10 days ago, Bogut said the main reason he wanted to be picked No. 1 was because of the exposure it would give Utah."The only reason it would mean something to me is that the University of Utah would get some good promotion out of it," he said. "I think this school has some of the best programs in the country. It would definitely help the school nationwide, especially on the East Coast."