Men's Basketball Sports

Jamal Shead drafted by Toronto Raptors in second round

Jamal Shead at his family home after getting his name called for the NBA draft on June 27, 2024. | Courtesy of Anh Le.

The Toronto Raptors drafted Big 12 Conference Male Athlete of the Year and Hosuston’s former point guard Jamal Shead with the 45th pick in the NBA Draft Thursday.

“It didn’t matter what team Shead went to, they were all going to get the same guy,” head coach Kelvin Sampson said. “I tell our guys everything they learned from me is over once they enter the NBA. They just have to make sure they keep their attitude and effort where it needs to be and be a good teammate.”

Shead topped the Cougars in scoring with 12.9 points per game. Along with that, Shead led Houston and placed third in the Big 12 in assists per game (6.3), steals per game (2.2) and assist-turnover percentage (3.11, 2nd). Moreover, he was the first athlete to place in the top 26 in the United States in all three categories.

With a 120-18 overall record, he concluded his career as the second-winning athlete in Houston history.

Jamal earned Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year coincidentally for the first time in Big 12 history. He became Conference Defensive Player of the Year in two separate leagues and joined Bo Outlaw as the only Cougars to obtain the honor multiple times.

With 693 assists, he ended overall third in Houston record and is the first player in Houston history to have more than 200 steals, 600 assists, 1,300 points and 100 wins during his career.

Shead joined Elvin Hayes in 1968 and Hakeem Olajuwon in 1984 as the only Cougars to earn spots on the NCAA Tournament All-Regional Team as a sophomore. He became one of just four Cougars to play in all 38 games, and he dished out 221 assists, the second-most in Houston’s single-season history. 

Shead led the Cougars across his playing career, but never more significantly than in the 2023–24 campaign. He made strides on and off the court as he earned his bachelor’s degree in health promotion. 

His selection makes him the 48th Cougar to be drafted in the NBA Draft, and the fourth under Sampson, who traveled to Austin with assistant coach Kellen Sampson to celebrate with Shead, his family and current and former Cougars.

“All our players getting drafted were unbelievable experiences for their families,” Sampson said. “Once you are a part of this program, you are a part of this brotherhood forever.”

Shead is expected to appear in Summer League games beginning when the Raptors kick off in Las Vegas on July 13.

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