University of Wyoming shooting guard Justin James was selected 40th overall in the 2019 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings. He was the first player selected from the University of Wyoming since the Los Angeles Lakers took Larry Nance Jr. in the first round in 2015.
He led the Mountain West Conference in scoring last season and made second team All-Mountain West. He was one of three players selected from the Mountain West in the 2019 NBA Draft.
University of Wyoming men's head basketball coach Allen Edwards said he is proud of the development that James made during his four years in Laramie.
"I can remember watching him in high school for the very first time and was like, 'Man, there's not a lot of talent on the floor,'" said Edwards. "But I was kind of intrigued by his size and his length and his athleticism, but you fast forward four years and say, 'Where did he make his biggest jump?' I thought he grew in his leadership."
Edwards credits James' maturity as a senior for putting him in the position to be drafted. Edwards said James helped develop the University of Wyoming basketball program, too.
"It's not about replacing him (James). It's more about helping these young people understand what it took for him to get to where he's at. And now how hard they have to work to try put themselves in position to get there or at some point playing for money anywhere," said Edwards.