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Iowa History Daily: June 26 - Kyle Korver's NBA Draft Night

Iowa History Daily: On June 26, 2003, the New Jersey Nets selected former Pella High School standout Kyler Korver with the 51st pick in the NBA Draft. The Nets swiftly sent Korver packing to the Philadelphia 76ers for a copy machine.

The Korver basketball roots go deep in Iowa. Parents Kevin and Laine met while both played basketball at Pella’s Central College. Laine, a standout at Montezuma High School who once scored 73 points in a game while averaging 41.6 points per game for the Braves during 1975-76, stood out as a sharpshooter on the hardwood decades before her eldest son went on to become one of the greatest 3-point shooters in NBA history.

Called to California to minister at a church in Paramount, California, Kevin and Laine welcomed four sons: Kyle, Klayton, Kaleb, and Kirk, before returning to Pella, Iowa, during 1993. A standout star at Pella High School, averaging 25.6 points per game in Little Hawkeye Conference action as a senior.

Accepting a full-ride to Creighton University across the Missouri River in Omaha, Korver excelled for the Blue Jays. A consensus All-America as a senior, Korver set Creighton and Missouri Valley Conference records by knocking down a 371 career three-pointers. By the time Korver left Omaha he ranked 14th in NCAA history with a 45.3% three-point percentage, the best ever by someone 6’7” or taller at the time.

On Draft night, the infamous NBA trade went down as the Nets dealt the 51st pick to the 76ers. “I was more or less sold for an undisclosed amount of money. I later found out (the Nets) used that money to pay for the entry fee for their summer league team, and with the leftover money, they bought a copy machine,” recalled Korver during a commencement speech at Creighton in 2019.

Korver again found success in the NBA, sticking around longer than any good copier during a career spanning from 2003-2020 and featuring stops in Philadelphia, Utah, Chicago, Atlanta, Cleveland, and Milwaukee. One of the greatest shooters in NBA history, Korver ranks all-time in 3-point field goals made (2,450) and all-time 3-point field goal percentage (42.9%).

The former Little Dutchman led the NBA in 3-point field goal percentage four times, and also set a record for highest three-point shooting percentage in a regular season (53.6%). Over a notable stretch ending in 2014, Korver hit a three in 127 consecutive games. Selected as an All-Star in 2015, Korver also led the league in three-point field goals made (2005), free throw percentage (2007), and was awarded the NBA Sportsmanship Award. #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryCalendar


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