Happy Holiday

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The 76ers chose UCLA guard Jrue Holliday with the 17th overall pick in the first round. (Paul Connors/AP file photo)

Not Ty Lawson.

Not Eric Maynor.

No, the 76ers' choice at No. 17 in the NBA draft is Jrue (pronounced Drew) Holiday of UCLA. He is the first Bruin ever drafted by them.

And perhaps this should not be a surprise, because word out of their front office had been interest in the Bruins' freshman shopuld he slip through the early selections.

Holiday played one season as a shooting guard, away from his natural position in deference to senior Darren Collison. He averaged just 8.5 points.

But he was the Gatorade National Player Of The Year at Campbell Hall High in Chatsworth, Ca., averaging 25.9 points, 11.2 rebounds, 6.9 assistws and 4.8 steals as a senior.

The Sixers, though, made it clear that they are not anticipating him being an impact player or even a starter. They do think he's their point guard of the future.

They took Holiday despite not having had him in for a workout.

''When (his advisors) thought he'd go in the top 10, he cancelled,'' said Tony DiLeo, the Sixers senior vice-president/assistant general manager. ''We interviewed him in Chicago (at the predraft combine). We studied him. He fits our team.''

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