(Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Once thought to be in the running for the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft, former Maryland center Alex Len dropped to fifth, where the Phoenix Suns selected him Thursday night in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Suns chose Len over Kentucky center Nerlens Noel and Kansas guard Ben McLemore, who were both still available.

Len, a 7-foot-1 center, averaged 11.9 points and 7.8 rebounds for Maryland last season, his second in College Park after arriving in this country from Ukraine.

Len is currently rehabilitating a partial stress fracture in his left ankle suffered toward the end of last season. He is predicted to be healthy for the start of the NBA’s season.

Much more from Alex Prewitt later Thursday night.


Alex Len NBA draft profile.

Len journeyed far to chase his NBA dreams.

Len, others, take different journeys to NBA draft.

Len and girlfriend Essence Townsend: a match made in College Park.

Len is in full control of his rehab process.

Timing of Len’s injury remains a mystery.