Cam Payne Headed to Oklahoma City as 1st Lottery Pick in Murray State History
Former Murray State University guard Cam Payne was picked 14th overall in Thursday's NBA Draft and will now head to the Oklahoma City Thunder to join All-Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
Payne's selection was the first time a MSU player has been selected in the first round of the draft, according to assistant athletic director Dave Winder.
Payne, who opted out of his Junior year at MSU, was the final lottery pick taken in the draft. The lottery picks are made by the 14 teams that didn't qualify for this year's NBA Playoffs.
Based on the most recent NBA rookie pay scale, Payne will make more than $1.5 million in his first year with the Thunder.
Past Racers taken in the NBA Draft include Bennie Purcell (1952), Dick Cunningham (1968), Popeye Jones (1992), Marcus Brown (1996) and most recently Isaiah Canaan (2013).
Racer fans crowded Murray's CFSB Center Thursday for a draft watch party. The event was also an opportunity for fans to meet new head coach Matt McMahon.
“This was one of the best events that I’ve been a part of at Murray State,” McMahon said, in a news release. “To see all of these fans come out in support of Cam and his family was just really special. You don’t get to experience this every June, so this was special."
McMahon said Payne's style of play was a good fit for the Thunder, who are just two years removed from being the NBA Western Conference's number one seed.
"What Cameron does is make people better and he impacts winning," McMahon said. "It’s a great fit for him because he’s not going to a team that’s rebuilding. I couldn’t be happier for him.”
Payne is the reigning Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year and Male Athlete of the Year, averaging 20.2 points during the 2014-15 season. That was good enough for 13th among all NCAA Division I players.