Former Indiana basketball center Kel’el Ware invited to 2024 NBA Draft

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BLOOMINGTON — Former Indiana basketball center Kel’el Ware has accepted an invitation to attend this year’s NBA Draft, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

The NBA Draft will take place over two days this year for the first time. This year’s top prospects were invited to attend the first round on June 26 at the Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. The second round will take place at the ESPN Studios in New York.

According to Givony, Ware is one of 24 players who have accepted draft invites. The list includes Zaccharie Risacher, Alex Sarr, Donovan Clingan, Reed Sheppard, Matas Buzelis, Stephon Castle and Dalton Knecht. The players will be allowed to invite six people to sit with them in the green room.

The invite is a strong indication Ware will go in the first round since the selection process involves the NBA polling league executives. The most recent mock drafts reflect Ware’s improved draft stock — ESPN has him going No. 23 to Milwaukee, USA Today has him going to Philadelphia at No. 16 and Yahoo Sports has him going to Chicago at No. 9.

Ware earned All-Big Ten honors from the coaches (third) and media (second) in 2023-24 during his line season with the Hoosiers. He averaged 15.9 points (58.6%), 9.9 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. He had the second most double-doubles (15) in the conference.

The only other player to average at least 15 points and nine rebounds in the Big Ten was Purdue center Zach Edey.

The former five-star recruit signed with Oregon coming out of North Little Rock High School in Arkansas. After a rocky season in Eugene, he transferred to Indiana where he rebuilt his draft stock.

Indiana is looking to produce first-round picks in consecutive years for the first time since 2013-14. Last year, Jalen Hood-Schifino went 17th overall to the Los Angeles Lakers. The program hasn’t had a lottery pick since Romeo Langford was the 14th pick by the Boston Celtics in 2019.

Michael Niziolek is the Indiana beat reporter for The Bloomington Herald-Times. You can follow him on X @michaelniziolek and read all his coverage by clicking here.…Read more by Michael Niziolek

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