June 30, 1999
BERKELEY - Forty-one must be pretty special for center Francisco Elson. That was the number he wore at Cal for two seasons. And on Wednesday, the Denver Nuggets selected him with the 41st overall pick of the 1999 NBA Draft.
Elson, a 7-footer from Rotterdam, the Netherlands, completed his two-year Cal career this past March when he helped the Bears to the National Invitation Tournament title. As a senior in 1998-99, he averaged 5.7 points and 5.1 rebounds on 51.3 percent shooting from the floor. He also had a team-high 42 blocks, which ranks as the fifth-best total in school history.
Elson, who started 42 games during his career with the Bears, was named MVP of the 1997 Golden Bear Classic. He arrived in Berkeley after playing two seasons at Kilgore College in Texas.
With Elson's selection, it means that Cal has had a player drafted in each of the last four NBA Drafts. Shareef Abdur-Rahim was the No. 3 pick in 1996 (Vancouver), while Ed Gray was 22nd in 1997 (Atlanta) and Sean Marks was taken in the second round by the New York Knicks in '98 (later traded to Toronto).
Including first round choices Jason Kidd and Lamond Murray in 1994, the Bears have had six players drafted in the last six years.