Rochester’s Jalen Pickett lands with Nuggets during NBA Draft

BROOKYLN, NY (WHEC) – Rochester native Jalen Pickett was drafted by the Indiana Pacers in the 2nd round (32nd overall) of the NBA Draft on Thursday night then traded to the Denver Nuggets.

“I was hopeful that’d I would be able to have the opportunity to get drafted,” Pickett said on Monday. “When my name was called, I was filled with such emotion.”

Pickett’s selection marks the third time a Rochester native has been selected since 2017. Isaiah Stewart was drafted in 2020 (Detroit Pistons) and Thomas Bryant in 2017 (Utah Jazz), who was traded to Denver last year. He and Pickett will dawn the same professional uniform after starting their basketball careers in the same city. As of Monday afternoon, Pickett hadn’t spoken with Bryant but said he was going to “call him later today.”

Additionally, Pickett becomes the fifth from the Flower City to sign with an NBA team since 2017 (Anthony Lamb and Jeenathan Williams were signed as undrafted free agents).

Pickett, a former Aquinas standout, shined on the court with Penn State this past season, taking home All-American honors. Following the Nittany Lions’ loss in NCAA Tournament in April, he declared for the NBA draft.