Alec Burks doesn't need 140 characters to describe the journey.

Wheels up. ... Milwaukee. ... Tired. ... Sacramento. ... Airport life. ... Charlotte. ... Dummy tired. ... Phoenix. ... Thankful for another day.

These are some of the simple messages the former Colorado guard sent via Twitter to keep his followers up to date with the journey from Colorado to the NBA.

After finishing the spring semester at CU in May, Burks worked out for seven different teams.

The Utah Jazz, the last team Burks auditioned for, selected the 6-foot-6 shooting guard with the No. 12 pick.

Hoops dream realized.

Draft prospect Alec Burks, of Colorado, holds a ball as he waits for the NBA basketball draft Thursday, June, 23, 2011, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel
Draft prospect Alec Burks, of Colorado, holds a ball as he waits for the NBA basketball draft Thursday, June, 23, 2011, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans) (Associated Press)

"It was exciting," Burks said during a teleconference from the the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. not long after shaking NBA commissioner David Stern's hand and posing for photos in a new three-piece suit and Jazz cap. "I'm glad they picked me."

A lot of draftniks predicted Jimmer Fredette and the Jazz would make beautiful music together, but the BYU star was taken by Milwaukee at No. 10 -- the frequently forecasted landing spot for Burks -- and then traded to Sacramento.

"I don't really believe in the mock drafts," Burks said. "They don't really know what's going to happen. I'm just glad to be in the lottery."


Burks, who doesn't turn 20 until next month, agonized over the decision whether to remain in college or turn professional throughout a dazzling sophomore season in Boulder. Now the ex-Buff will get to play in Pac-12 country anyway.

CU and the University of Utah officially join the new conference on July 1.

"I went to school in Boulder, Colorado, so it's the same thing," Burks said. "I'm looking forward to playing in Salt Lake City."

The Jazz also took Enes Kanter of Turkey with the No. 3 overall pick.

As expected, Duke point guard Kyrie Irving was drafted No. 1 by Cleveland, and Arizona forward Derrick Williams went No. 2 to Minnesota. Texas' Tristan Thompson, the Big 12 Freshman of the Year, surprised many draft gurus by going No. 4 to Cleveland.

Toronto took Jonas Valanciunas (center, Lithuania) with the fifth pick, Washington grabbed Jan Vesely (forward, Serbia) with the sixth pick, and Sacramento selected Bismack Biyombo (forward, Congo) for Charlotte with the seventh pick.

After the run on foreign imports, three big names from the NCAA Tournament -- Kentucky point guard Brandon Knight (No. 8 Detroit), UConn point guard Kemba Walker (No. 9 Charlotte) and Fredette were removed from the board.

And when Golden State decided to go with Washington State shooting guard Klay Thompson at No. 10, suddenly Burks' goal of being a lottery pick (top 14) appeared to be slipping away.

But Burks had a good feeling about the Jazz and new head coach Tyrone Corbin during the recent workout.

"It was great. They were cool and laid back. They gave me positive feedback. So I feel like it is a greatorganization," Burks said. "(Corbin) just wanted us to work hard, and if you work hard, he is cool with that. And I respect that."

Burks is now officially a peer of CU legend Chauncey Billups, the No. 3 pick in the 1997 draft.

"He's like a mentor to me," Burks said of Billups, currently a member of the New York Knicks. "He just told me to enjoy the process and that you're making your dream come true, which is always a great thing."

Burks is the first CU player to be drafted in the first round since David Harrison was selected by Indiana with the 29th overall pick in 2004.

A typical salary for a player drafted 12th is about $1.736 million and jumps to $1.866 million in the second year.

"There's no question he has an NBA game," ESPN draft analyst Jay Bilas said during the broadcast. "He's talented, he's versatile and he's a rangy athlete with a very good skill level. ... He always feels like he doesn't get the due that he deserves and he plays like he has something to prove. I think that's a good thing."

CU head coach Tad Boyle believes having a CU player taken early in the NBA Draft will help the program land the next Alec Burks.

"I'm proud of Alec. This is something we can use as a positive as we move forward in our recruiting efforts and talking about kids' dreams," Boyle said at Burks' press conference announcing his decision to leave the Buffs for the draft.

"Part of coming to this campus is following your dreams, whether you're a basketball player or if you're a chemical engineer, or a pre-med major. Alec's dream was to play in the NBA. He has realized that at Colorado. That's something we can sell when we go out into homes and talk about future Buffs."

Cory Higgins, CU's all-time leading scorer, was not picked in the two-round draft.