BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics surprised some observers when they drafted Guerschon Yabusele with the No. 16 pick in Thursday's NBA draft.
They surprised Guerschon, too.
After crashing the stage at the Barclays Center from the crowd, Yabusele, who was ranked 30th overall on Chad Ford's big board and 11th at the power forward position, was asked at a news conference whether he expected to be taken so high.
"No, nobody was expecting," said Yabusele, a native of France. "I see them coming close to me, see my name. So I was really surprised to be in here, but I was so happy."
Yabusele worked out for the Celtics earlier this month but said he didn't get any inclination that the team was going to snag him so early in the draft.
"Not really. I talked to the coach [Brad Stevens] a little bit, talked to the [president of basketball operations Danny Ainge]," Yabusele said. "I knew there was interest, but I don't believe that I'm going to be the 16th pick."
Yabusele, 20, sounded open to the idea of being an overseas stash.
"It's not a problem for me, even if I got to go one year, two years in Europe, in another country and play, I'll go," Yabusele said. "I just want to play in the NBA and try to be better, so it's great."
The Celtics, who took Cal's Jaylen Brown at No. 3, selected another international big man -- Croatia's Ante Zizic -- at No. 23 to cap their three first-round picks.