The NBA announced today that San Antonio Spurs guard Gary Neal (Towson) was named to the NBA All-Rookie first team, making him the second undrafted player in league history to earn the distinction.
Joining Neal on the first team are Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, Washington Wizards guard John Wall and New York Knicks guard Landry Fields.
Neal joins Jorge Garbajosa as the only undrafted players to be named first-team All-Rookie; Garbajosa received the honor in 2006-07 with the Toronto Raptors. Overall, only 10 undrafted rookies have been named to either the All-Rookie first or second teams in league history. Neal is the fifth Spur, and the first since Tony Parker in 2001-02, to be named to the first team.
Neal appeared in 80 games, averaging 9.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 21.1 minutes. He shot 45.1 percent from the field, 41.9 percent from 3-point territory and 80.8 percent from the free-throw line. Among rookies, he ranked first in 3-point field-goal percentage and 3-point field goals made; second in free-throw percentage; fifth in points; and seventh in field-goal percentage. He broke the Spurs rookie record for 3-point field-goal percentage and 3-pointers made in a season, finishing with 129; Neal ranks third among the team’s all-time rookie leaders in free-throw percentage.
In the playoffs, he appeared in all six games, averaging 7.7 points and 3.0 rebounds in 18.5 minutes. In Game 5 against Memphis, Neal hit a 3-pointer as time expired to send the game into overtime, and the Spurs went on to win, 110-103.