NEW YORK (Reuters) - Point guard Derrick Rose of the University of Memphis was taken by the Chicago Bulls with the first pick of the 2008 NBA Draft on Thursday, and the Miami Heat followed with all-around forward Michael Beasley of Kansas State.
Rose averaged 14.9 points per game and 4.7 assists in leading Memphis as a freshman to the finals of the NCAA Tournament and the 6 ft 3 ins (1.91-metre) Chicago native was thrilled to be joining his hometown NBA team.
"It feels great to be back at home," Rose told reporters.
The Heat, who auditioned some guards in the days leading up to the draft, ended the suspense by taking consensus All-American Beasley, who averaged 26.2 points and led major U.S. colleges by averaging 12.4 rebounds a game.
"Anything can happen in a draft," Beasley said. "I think they are getting a great player, a hard worker and rebounder and a fun loving guy off the court. I think every team needs that."
The Minnesota Timberwolves selected University of Southern California guard O.J. Mayo with the next pick, the third successive freshman taken in the draft.
Overall, a record 10 freshmen were selected in the first round. Many top youngsters had entered the draft after satisfying the NBA requirement of waiting at least one year after their high school graduating class.
Guard Russell Westbrook of UCLA went to the Seattle SuperSonics with the fourth pick, followed by college team mate Kevin Love, a 6 ft 10 ins (2.08-metre) center, taken by the Memphis Grizzlies.