Watch: Obi Toppin emotional after being drafted by Knicks

The New York Knicks selected Obi Toppin with the 8th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.


After being selected with the eighth overall pick by the New York Knicks, wiping away tears, the 2020 National College Player of the Year, Obi Toppin, expressed gratitude for being drafted by his hometown team.

When asked why it is important to wear a Knicks jersey, the New York native said he takes pride in representing his city.

“I’m from New York, that’s why it’s important,” Toppin told ESPN. “Me repping my city, it’s amazing. A lot of people pray to be in this position, and I’m not going to take it for granted. I promise you that.”

Toppin was born in Brooklyn, growing up in the Bushwick neighborhood before moving to Florida. He ended up returning to the New York area to attend Ossining High School in Westchester County.

He is the first local product to be drafted by the Knicks in the Top-10 since 1966, per ESPN Stats and Info.

Toppin played two seasons at Dayton after redshirting his freshman year due to academic issues. Mature for a lottery pick, the 22-year-old will be older than several of the young players already on the Knicks roster. Mitchell Robinson, Frank Ntilikina, Ignas Brazdeikis, Kevin Knox, and RJ Barrett are all younger than Toppin.

The Knicks decided to select the power forward known for his ferocious dunks instead of several other intriguing options who fell to them at eight. Many Knicks fans were hoping the team would select playmaking forward Deni Avdija or Florida State wing Devin Vassell.

However, it seemed like Toppin was destined for the Knicks. He is a CAA client with obvious ties to team president Leon Rose. Leading up to the draft, the day was filled with rumors of the Knicks possibly moving up to the 5th spot to select him. A move they didn’t need to make.

Earlier in the day, the Knicks traded their 27th and 38th picks to Utah in order to move up to the 23rd pick.