The road to the NBA goes through Fort Myers. One-fifth of the players taken in Thursday’s NBA Draft took part in at least one Culligan City of Palms Classic, a premier showcase for elite high school basketball talent held annually at Suncoast Credit Union Arena on the campus of Florida SouthWestern State College.
The Phoenix Suns began the draft with their selection of DeAndre Ayton, who became the fifth Culligan City of Palms Classic alumnus in nine years to go No. 1 overall. Five of the top 10 picks and seven of the 14 lottery selections played in the Culligan City of Palms Classic. The tournament produced nine first-rounders, the most in its history.
2018 NBA Draft picks who played in the Culligan City of Palms Classic
1. DeAndre Ayton — Phoenix Suns
6. Mohamed Bamba — Orlando Magic
7. Wendell Carter Jr. — Chicago Bulls
8. Collin Sexton — Cleveland Cavaliers
9. Kevin Knox — New York Knicks
11. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander — Charlotte Hornets (traded to Los Angeles Clippers)
14. Michael Porter Jr. — Denver Nuggets
21. Grayson Allen — Utah Jazz
24. Anfernee Simons — Portland Trail Blazers
34. Devonte’ Graham — Atlanta Hawks (traded to Charlotte Hornets)
45. Hamidou Diallo — Brooklyn Nets (traded to Oklahoma City Thunder)
56. Ray Spalding — Philadelphia 76ers (traded to Dallas Mavericks)
This year’s Culligan City of Palms Classic takes place Monday, December 17 – Saturday, December 22. Ticket packages covering all six days of the tournament are now on sale. They can be purchased online at cityofpalmsclassic.com/tickets or by calling the box office at 239-481-4849 or 1-800-440-7469 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.