A Special Welcome
When the Charlotte Hornets announced a meet-and-greet for their newly drafted player Devonte’ Graham, Charlotte Jayhawks were there to welcome him to their city.
“I’m a native Charlottean and was six when the Hornets started. I’ve been waiting a long time for my hometown team to pick one of our guys,” said Rebecca Ferry, d’05. Ferry leads the local alumni network.
The meet-and-greet was extra special for Kelly Hunter and her son Luke. When the Hornets heard Luke was celebrating his 11th birthday, they pulled a few strings and sold him the store’s first Devonte’ Graham jersey.
The story gets even better: This wasn’t the first time Luke had met Devonte’. Luke and his mother ran into Graham two years ago while they were on campus.
On Luke’s 9th birthday.
“Devonte’ said he remembered meeting him,” said Kelly. “Luke thinks the Hornets drafting Devonte’ is the best birthday present ever.”
Read more about the 2018 NBA Draft, which saw former KU basketball players Devonte’ Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk drafted in the second round.
A pair of Jayhawk seniors saw their NBA dreams realized Thursday night: Devonte’ Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk both heard their names called during the 2018 NBA Draft.
The day began with Devonte’ sharing his wide range of emotions on the upcoming night:
Lots of Jayhawk alumni offered their support for their former teammates:
Alumni in Nashville, Tampa and Omaha also got together at their local watch sites to see where the Jayhawks would begin their NBA careers.
Going home again
The Big 12 Player of the Year didn’t have to wait long into the second round to know his destination, as the Charlotte Hornets traded two future second round picks to secure the first-team All-American at pick #34. Graham continues to be linked to his former backcourt teammate Frank Mason III, who was drafted with the same pick last year by the Sacramento Kings.
Graham finds himself going back to where it all began, as the Charlotte Hornets play only two hours away from his hometown of Raleigh.
Graham represented his alma mater with a KU tie at his introductory press conference:
He also shared how excited he is to have his family nearby:
From a legendary college program to a historic NBA franchise, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk’s world tour continues after the Los Angeles Lakers selected him with the 47th pick.
Chip on the shoulder
While Malik Newman and Billy Preston were not selected, their professional basketball careers are just beginning. Former Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr., who went undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft and now plays for the Memphis Grizzlies, shared his advice:
Reports indicate Malik Newman has signed a two-way contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, allowing him to play for the Lakers and their G League affiliate.
Ben McLemore, who became a top NBA draft prospect after playing just one season at KU, shares intimate details about his life’s journey with ESPN’s Andy Katz. Today’s draft coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. (Central) on ESPN.