During the Charlotte Hornets’ history, many players have been drafted. Their first-ever draft pick was Rex Chapman in 1988.
Fans know that the Charlotte Hornets have made many picks since its founding. The Hornets were founded in 1988, but the team made its first draft pick on 6/28/1988. On Sunday, it marked the 32nd year since the Hornets drafted their first player.
In the 1988 NBA draft, the Hornets selected Rex Chapman, a shooting guard out of Kentucky. Heading into the draft, Chapman was coming off a season where he averaged 19.0 points and 3.7 assists per game.
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Just as the Hornets are projected to receive the 8th pick in the 2020 draft, Chapman was taken with the team’s 8th pick in 1988. After being drafted by the Hornets, Chapman would go on to average 16.9 points and 2.5 rebounds per game as a rookie.
During his rookie season, Chapman proved to be a reliable option on offense. His consistent numbers helped to secure him a spot in the team’s starting lineup. Chapman even finished his rookie season by having a game where he scored 37 points.
Following his rookie season, Chapman would be named to the NBA’s All-Rookie Second Team, making him the first Hornet to receive a league honor. Chapman started in 44 of the 75 games that he appeared in.
After the 1989 offseason, Chapman stayed with the Hornets for another two and a half seasons. In the middle of the 1991-92 season, Chapman would be traded to the Washington Wizards in change for Tom Hammonds.
As a Hornet, he averaged 16.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game. Chapman would go on to finish his twelve-year career by averaging 14.6 points and 2.5 rebounds per game.
Since retiring, Chapman has continued to use his platform to influence many on social media. He even recently spoke at the Charlotte Hornets’ Swarm 365 draft party in 2018. However, fans will always remember him as the team’s first-ever draft pick.