April 14, 2014
By Stephen Trembley
NEW ORLEANS --- Former Fresno State men's basketball star Melvin Ely was signed Monday by the New Orleans Pelicans.
Ely played at Fresno State from 1998-2002 and finished his career as the Bulldogs' all-time leading scorer with 1,951 points in his four seasons. He also has school records for fields goals (789) and blocks (362). He was twice named conference Player of the Year (2001 and 2002) and led Fresno State to the postseason in all four of his seasons as a Bulldog, including two NCAA appearances (2000 and 2001).
A former first round draft pick in 2002, Ely was drafted with the No. 12 overall pick by the Los Angeles Clippers, who he played for from 2002-04. He has also played for the Charlotte Bobcats (2004-07), San Antonio Spurs (2007), New Orleans Hornets (2007-09) and the Denver Nuggets (2010-11). In 2007, he was part of the Spurs' NBA Championship team.
In total, Ely (6-10, 260) has appeared in 373 games over eight NBA seasons, averaging 5.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in 16.0 minutes per game. The 6-10 center joins the Pelicans after playing the last two seasons for the Texas Legends in the NBA D-League, where he appeared in 78 games (74 starts) and averaged 13.4 points and 6.0 rebounds in 27.7 minutes per game. In the 2013-14 season, Ely totaled 15.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in 41 appearances and was selected to the 2014 NBA D-League All-Star Game.
Ely will wear No. 4 and will be available for tonight's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Ely joins Paul George (Indiana Pacers) and Greg Smith (Chicago Bulls) as the third Bulldog currently in the NBA. Ely is one of 29 former Bulldogs to have played in the NBA and five to be drafted in the first round.
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