NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Former Vanderbilt star Aaron Nesmith was selected 14th overall by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the NBA Draft on Wednesday.
Vanderbilt is the only program in the nation with back-to-back NBA lottery picks. Former Vanderbilt guard Darius Garland was drafted fifth overall by Cleveland in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Nesmith, a 6-foot-6, 215-pound shooting guard, becomes the second Vanderbilt student-athlete is as many years selected in the first round of the NBA Draft and ninth Commodore ever drafted in the event’s first round.
Vanderbilt’s six first round picks since 2012 ranks second in the SEC.
In the second round, teammate Saben Lee was selected 38th overall by the Utah Jazz with a pending trade to the Detroit Pistons. Nesmith and Lee will join Garland, Luke Kornet (Chicago) and Damian Jones (Atlanta) as active Commodore alums in the NBA.
The best shooter in the draft is Boston bound!
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) November 19, 2020
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) November 19, 2020
A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Nesmith played in 46 games for Vanderbilt and averaged 14.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. But his breakout season came in 2019-20 for Vanderbilt head coach Jerry Stackhouse.
Nesmith poured in 23 points per contest, made 60 3s, shot 52.2 percent from distance and hauled in 4.9 rebounds per game before a foot injury in January ended his Vandy career. At the time of his injury (Jan. 8 at Auburn) Nesmith was fifth nationally in scoring, second in 3s made and led the country in 3-point percentage and 3s per game.
“He’s one of those kids that works his butt off,” Stackhouse said. “You’re not going to outwork him.”
Nesmith graduated from the Porter-Gaud School and was thrice the South Carolina Independent School Association 3A Player of the Year. He made the SEC Academic Honor Roll twice and a career high of 26 points as a freshman was erased by a 29-point performance against SMU and 34-point games against both Richmond and UNC Wilmington in December.
Considered one of the top scorers in the 2020 draft class, Nesmith scored at least 14 points in every game he played during the 2019-20 season and at least 20 in nine.