Martin, who broke his leg late last season

By Andy Resnik Associated Press Published:

Martin, who broke his leg late last season but still was the consensus college player of the year, cried when he was selected by New Jersey with the No. 1 pick in Wednesday night's NBA Draft.

"It was unreal," Martin said of his outpouring of emotion. "I invested so much over the last few months with me getting hurt and my family seeing me struggle. It was like a relief."

Penn, the diminutive point guard who helped lead Ohio State to a Final Four in 1999 and a share of the Big Ten regular-season title this year, figured to go sometime in the second round. He had to wait until the second to last pick of the draft, when Atlanta selected him at No. 57.

Penn watched the draft at his mother's house in Salem, Mass., but wasn't available to comment early Thursday morning.

"He's busy right now," said a woman who answered the phone, barely audible over the din.

Collier, a former Ohio Mr. Basketball from Springfield Catholic Central High School, watched the draft at his parents' Springfield home with about 60 people and three constantly-barking dogs.

It got loud when he was picked by Milwaukee at No. 15, and even louder when his agent called to tell him he was traded to Houston.

Collier, a 7-footer with a feathery outside shot, is looking forward to working on his inside game with Rockets center Hakeem Olajuwon.

"I kind of hope he stays around and plays for a couple more years. And even if he doesn't, I hope he stays around and helps the big guys out," Collier said of Olajuwon.

Collier, who started at Indiana but transferred to Georgia Tech because of conflicts with coach Bob Knight, said he wanted to watch the draft with the people who helped him through his tumultuous college career.

"I wanted to spend time with not only my family and friends, but I wanted it to be a community thing for everyone that helped me through my career at Georgia Tech and Indiana back to Catholic Central," Collier said.

Other players with Ohio connections selected were Cincinnati swingman DerMarr Johnson, Martin's teammate, and Penn's Ohio State backcourt mate, guard Michael Redd.

Cincinnati forward Pete Mickeal was selected by the Dallas Mavericks with the final pick of the draft.

Johnson, who left the Bearcats after his freshman season, was taken by Atlanta with the sixth pick in the first round, higher than some expected.

"There's a lot of things I can do that I didn't get a chance to show at Cincinnati playing behind Kenyon," said Johnson, who averaged 12.6 points per game.

Johnson can play on the perimeter, but his wiry, 200-pound frame means he needs to bulk up to play inside.

"Everybody has got something they need to work on," he said. "The skills are there, but I need to get bigger. That's something I'm working on every day."

Bulk is something Martin has plenty of. At 6-foot-9 and a solid 230 pounds, he can score from inside or outside and defend guards as easily as forwards.

Martin averaged 18.9 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.45 blocks a game last season and should fit in well alongside forward Keith Van Horn and point guard Stephon Marbury, the cornerstones of the Nets franchise.

"He's a guy we won't have to baby and get him ready in two or three years," said coach Byron Scott. "He's been there for four years of college. This guy is a man, and we're just going to throw him in the fire and go along with him."

Redd, who predicted he'd be selected in the first round, was taken in the second, 43rd overall, by Milwaukee.

Redd gave up his final year of eligibility to make himself eligible for the draft. Some scouts fancied him a first-round pick, but his stock slipped because of his inconsistent outside shot. "When he went to the NBA it wasn't about money, it was to attain a dream. And the dream was attained tonight," Redd's father, James Redd, said early Thursday morning when reached at his Columbus home.

The elder Redd said his son wasn't available to speak with the media, but was excited to be getting a chance to compete for a spot on the Bucks' roster and to back up shooting guard Ray Allen.

"He's confident. The situation he's going into he has a great opportunity and he's good enough," James Redd said. "He knows what he has to do."

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