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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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IMG Academy Scores Record for NBA First-Round Picks

  • The Florida boarding school had three alumni selected in the first round of the NBA Draft for the first time.
  • Endeavor sold IMG Academy in April for $1.25 Billion to private equity firm BPEA EQT.
IMG Academy alums Jarace Walker, Jett Howard, and Keyonte George we picked in last night's first round.
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

IMG Academy, the Florida boarding school that sold for $1.25 billion in April, set a school record Thursday night with three alums picked in the first round of the NBA Draft.

The draft also marked the first time in IMG Academy history that it produced two lottery picks, with the Washington Wizards selecting Jarace Walker (traded to Pacers) at No. 8 and the Orlando Magic selecting Jett Howard, son of former NBA player Juwan Howard, at No. 11. 

Keyonte George, the reigning Big 12 Freshman of the Year for Baylor, was picked by the Utah Jazz at No. 16 as the third first-round pick from IMG Academy’s 2022 graduating class. IMG Academy has now produced 11 first-rounders since 2005, at least one pick in seven straight years, and four straight first-rounders. 

“If your main goal is to try to get to the NBA, I think IMG is one of the places that could put you in the best spot possible,” George told Front Office Sports before the draft. “Just as far as a mental standpoint preparing you to come into a world like this, I think it’s top of the top. I would definitely recommend it if you’re trying to better prepare yourself.”  

Howard, a member of the Big Ten All-Freshman Team for Michigan last season, is the the second son of an NBA player to be recently drafted into the league after playing at IMG Academy. Kenyon Martin Jr. was drafted in the second round in 2020 and now plays for the Houston Rockets.

“To have three first-round picks in the NBA Draft from IMG Academy for the first time is a tremendous honor for the basketball program as these selections are a testament to the hard work and dedication of the student-athletes and coaches,” said Brian Nash, Director of Basketball at IMG Academy.

IMG Academy’s tuition can reach up to $89,000 per year. Endeavor, the parent company of UFC, agreed to sell IMG Academy in April for $1.25 billion to Hong Kong-based private equity firm BPEA EQT.

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