YAKIMA, Wash., Sept. 13 -- Auburn forward Aaron Swinson, who finished second to Charles Barkley on the school's career field-goal percentage list, was taken by the Yakima Sun Kings as the first selection of Tuesday night's Continental Basketball Association draft. The seven-round draft was conducted via teleconference from the CBA's 16 franchise cities. Swinson, 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, averaged 20.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game for the Tigers last season. Swinson also ranked fifth in the nation in field-goal percentage at 63.1 percent. He compiled a . 609 shooting percentage in his three-year career at Auburn. The Georgia native was second in the Southeastern Conference in scoring to teammate Wesley Person in 1993-94. Person was a first-round selection by the Phoenix Suns in June's NBA draft and, coincidentally, Swinson also was invited to attend the Suns' camp. 'I am flattered to be the first overall pick and am flattered that Yakima recognizes my ability,' said Swinson, who owns a 36-inch standing vertical jump. 'However, I have signed a contract with the Phoenix Suns and I hope to play in the NBA this year.' Yakima coach Mo McHone still feels his club made the right move. 'Even if he makes the NBA, we feel like we have made a legitimate pick,' said McHone, a six-year NBA coaching veteran. 'If he doesn't make it (in Phoenix), we have an NBA-caliber player and that is what it takes to win in this league.' The Sun Kings also had the seventh pick of the draft and chose guard Anthony Goldwire from Houston.
Goldwire averaged 17.1 points per game as a senior last season and led the Southwest Conference in free-throw percentage (.807). He also was drafted by the Suns. Omaha sleceted forward Nate Higgs with the second pick. Higgs scored 2,065 points and grabbed more than 1,026 rebounds during his four-year career at Elizabeth City State. Forward Kendrick Warren was picked third by Rockford, followed by forward Albert Burditt (Oklahoma City) and swingman Kris Bruton (Pittsburgh). Warren averaged 18 points and 12.4 rebounds his senior year at Virginia Commonwealth. Burditt, the all-time leading shot-blocker in Texas history, was a second-round pick of the Houston Rockets. Bruton, a second-round selection of the Chicago Bulls, led Benedict College in scoring, field-goal percentage and rebounding as a senior. The next five picks were Seton Hall guard Bryan Caver (Fort Wayne), Goldwire (Yakima), North Carolina guard Derrick Phelps (Chicago), Missouri forward Jevon Crudup (Rapid City) and Michigan State forward Anthony Miller (Grand Rapids). The remaining first-round selections were Cincinnati forward Dontonio Wingfield (Rapid City), Marquett forward Damon Key (Shreveport), Detroit Mercy guard Tony Tolbert (Grand Rapids), Jackson State guard Ryan Lorthridge (Mexico), Florida guard Craig Brown (Harrisburg) and South Carolina swingman Jamie Watson (Rapid City). The defending CBA champion Quad City Thunder did not have a first- round pick.