After averaging 11.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists for the Houston Rockets this season, former Ohio State forward Jae’Sean Tate was named to the All-NBA Rookie First Team on Thursday evening.
The 6-foot-4 and 230-pound Tate went undrafted in 2018 and spent the last two seasons playing for the Antwerp Giants in Belgium and the Sydney Kings in Australia. He signed with Houston this offseason and was reunited with Rockets assistant coach Will Weaver, his head coach in Sydney.
“I think it would be a big accomplishment, especially being undrafted, having to go overseas for a stint just to get here,” Tate said during his season-ending media availability last month. “It definitely would be an achievement. It already is an achievement to be in the talks. Nobody really saw me being in the position I am at the beginning of the year. I’m just trying to go out there and play my heart out, play my butt off. All the (recognition) will come with that.”
Tate, who appeared in 70 games with 58 starts for the Rockets this season, was joined on the first team by Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards, Sacramento Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton and Detroit Pistons forward Saddiq Bey. Ball, of course, was the league’s rookie of the year.
A former four-star prospect from Pickerington (Ohio) Central, Tate played in 129 career games at Ohio State from 2014-18. He averaged 11.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game and led the Buckeyes to NCAA Tournament appearance apiece under former head coach Thad Matta and current head coach Chris Holtmann.
Tate is just the fifth former Buckeye to be named to the All-NBA Rookie First Team, joining John Havlicek in 1962-63, Jerry Lucas in 1963-64, Kelvin Ransey in 1980-81, Clark Kellogg in 1982-83. D’Angelo Russell made the second team in 2015-16, meanwhile.
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