Louisville center Chinanu Onuaku, a former All-Met at Riverdale Baptist, was selected with the No. 37 overall pick by the Houston Rockets in the second round of Thursday's NBA draft.

The Rockets will likely look to the 6-foot-10 center to help fill the void left in the paint by All-Star Dwight Howard, who will become a free agent on July 1 after opting out of his contract with the Rockets.

After making his mark at Riverdale Baptist, averaging 12.3 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks to help lead the Crusaders to the Maryland Private Schools title as a senior, Onuaku continued his ascent in two years at Louisville. Last season, the strong shot blocker and rebounder averaged 9.9 points, 8.5 rebounds and two blocks to earn all-ACC defensive team honors.

Along with his play in the paint, Onuaku also drew attention for his under-handed shooting style at the free-throw line. As awkward as it may look, the approach helped him improve his free-throw percentage from 46.7 as freshman to 58.9 last season for the Cardinals.

Following a strong showing at the NBA draft combine, Onuaku had a minor heart procedure to correct a previously undetected rhythm issue. Though the operation reportedly raised some concerns among teams, factors like his 7-foot-2 3/4 inch wingspan and aggressive mentality outweighed any doubts, leading the Rockets to snag him early in the second round.

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