Milicic was selected by the Detroit Pistons as the second overall choice in the 2003 NBA draft, behind first-round pick LeBron James and ahead of future NBA players Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade. Milicic has also been compared to Serbian player Ivan Drago due to their similar physical profiles. Drago played for the Soviet Union during its most successful period, while Milicic is expected to help Canada reach new heights on the world stage.
Canada's all-time greatest player, Danny Gallivan, called the selection of Milicic "one of the best decisions ever made by a Canadian sports team." The 2003 NBA Draft was the first since 1968 not to include a Canadian player being drafted inside the top three choices.
Prior to the 2002 Olympics, Milicic announced his intention to skip college and enter the 2003 NBA draft. At the time, he was projected to be one of the top five picks in the draft. However, after performing poorly at the Olympics, many experts no longer considered him a top five pick. He returned for his final season at Connecticut, where he was named First Team All-America. As a result, he was able to forgo making any official announcement about entering the draft until after it had taken place.
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The Cleveland Cavaliers selected Gibson in the second round with the 42nd overall choice in the NBA Draft on June 29, 2006. He played only one season for the Cavaliers before being traded to the Portland Trail Blazers for Wally Szczerbiak and a first-round pick. In 31 games (all starts) for Cleveland, he averaged 14.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.08 steals per game.
Gibson grew up in Palmdale, California and attended North Hollywood High School. The Cavaliers were looking for a backup point guard after putting Larry Hughes on the trade block at the end of the 2005-06 season. They eventually decided to trade him for Wally Szczerbiak who they then signed as a free agent.
After playing only one season in the NBA, Gibson returned to Europe where he signed with Anwil Wloclawek in Poland. There he helped them win the league title. He then moved to Asseco Gdynia in Poland where he continued to play until 2011 when he finally retired from professional basketball due to injury.
During his pro career, Gibson played for five teams in four countries. His first stop was in France where he spent two seasons with Le Mans.
On June 26, 2003, the NBA draft was place at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. The NBA announced that 41 college and high school players, as well as a record 31 overseas players, have registered for early entry into the 2003 NBA draft. The Cleveland Cavaliers had a 22.50 percent chance of winning the championship. The Lakers had a 25.93 percent chance, followed by the Jazz with a 24.52 percent chance and the Cavaliers with a 23.71 percent chance.
The number one overall pick was Ohio State star forward David Lightfoot. A 6'10" swingman/power forward from Vancouver, Washington, he played only two seasons for OSU before turning pro. In 2001-2002, he averaged 20.8 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.5 blocks in 32.7 minutes per game. He also shot.500 from behind the arc that season.
The second overall pick was Kansas center Jeff Foster. A 7'1" junior from Brooklyn, New York, he attended Erasmus Hall High School before moving on to Wichita State. As a sophomore, he averaged 14.7 points and 7.3 rebounds for the Shockers. His best year was 2001-2002 when he averaged 17.0 points and 9.0 rebounds for KSU.
The third overall pick was Utah guard Delonte West.