Photos by Erik Schelkun; Elsestar Images | Courtesy University of Dayton
The Westchester County basketball star returns home after an epic season at U Dayton as the number eight overall pick in the NBA 2020 draft.
Obi Toppin, a graduate of Ossining High School, has had a pretty stellar year, and the future’s only looking brighter after being named the eighth overall pick in this year’s NBA draft.
Toppin is frequently referred to as a bit of a “late bloomer” — he was ‘only’ 6’5” when he played as a senior for Ossining High in the 2016-2017 basketball season. Still, he averaged more than 20 points per game, eight rebounds, three assists, and three steals, finishing out the season with a 17-5 record and the school’s first conference title in a decade. As we said, a bit of a slow start.
Toppin — now 6’9” — just finished a truncated season playing for the University of Dayton as a redshirt sophomore, during which time he was named National Player of the Year by the Associated Press and received the Naismith Trophy, become Dayton’s first consensus All-American and the number one Top College Basketball Player of the season, according to Sports Illustrated.
Toppin has frequently been compared to Amar’e Stoudemire in speed and ability, including his dunking proficiency: a nation-leading 107 this past season, for a Dayton record. He was also the only player in the country to average 20.0 points per game, 7.5 rebounds, shooting .633 from the field, .702 from the line, and nailing .390 for three-pointers. Toppin even led the nation as the most efficient player, averaging 1.2 points per possession.
“As one of the highest-ranked players on our draft board, Obi was someone we really coveted,” New York Knicks President Leon Rose says in a statement. “He’s an explosive athlete and one of the most dynamic players in college basketball, which earned him the Naismith Player of the Year honors.”
“Just as importantly,” Rose adds, “he’s also a high-character individual with a tremendous work ethic. We look forward to a bright future with him and are excited to bring a native New Yorker home to The Garden.”