NBA Draft unfolds Thursday night

June 26, 2003 at 10:05 AM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, June 26 (UPI) -- As many as 15 international players, most of them from Europe, could be selected in the first round of the NBA Draft Thursday night in New York.

Last year, six internationals went in the first round, including top overall pick Yao Ming from China. Yugoslavians Darko Milicic and Zarko Cabarkapa could join them.

The Cleveland Cavaliers won last month's draft lottery and will select 18-year-old high school phenom LeBron James.

The 6-8, 240-pounder has become one of basketball's household names. Several of his games with St. Vincent-St. Mary of Akron, Ohio were televised on pay-per-view, and he received already signed a huge $90 million sneaker contract from Nike.

Picking third, the Denver Nuggets likely will select 6-8 forward Carmelo Anthony, who led Syracuse to the NCAA title as a freshman.

Also available are Texas guard T.J. Ford, forward Nick Collison and guard Kirk Hinrich of Kansas, and forward Chris Bosh of Georgia Tech.

The draft will be televised live by ESPN.

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