By RENALDO DORSETT
NEW YORK, New York — Years of hard work, execution and performing at the top of his craft have led to this moment as Buddy Hield is just hours away from the life-changing experience of being selected in the NBA Draft.
Hield’s whirlwind Draft Week tour made stops yesterday at media availability, an NBA Cares event and also several appearances for his endorsed products.
“I’m just anxious and I cant wait. I’m not nervous yet but I’ll probably be nervous Thursday morning. I probably won’t sleep [Wednesday] night but this process it’s fun,” Hield said. “Growing up in the Bahamas, a Bahamian kid going from home to out here living this different dream, is just amazing. All these cameras, the lifestyle out here, I’m just blessed and I can’t wait until the night is finally here.”
Hield, a 6ft 4in, 207-pound shooting guard, is projected to have a likely destination of lottery teams looking for shooting and backcourt help – the Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Denver Nuggets or Sacramento Kings.
“I cant tell you how happy I am to be here and how happy I am to have my family here. can’t wait to find out which team I’m going to and for everybody back in the Bahamas, everyone in the 242 can represent me.,” Hield said, “I appreciate you guys being with me through this whole process. It’s going to be fun. I don’t know what team I’m going to but I know whatever team I go I know you guys will give me all of your support and as always it’s 242 to the world.”
Hield and other top NBA Draft prospects joined NYC Youth for a Junior NBA Clinic and NBA Cares Hospital Packing Project at Basketball City. Approximately 130 from Basketball City, Dual Language Middle School and University Neighborhood Middle School to participated in the camp facilitated by Hield and others including Ben Simmons, Brandon Ingram, Dejounte Murray, Denzel Valentine, Deyonta Davis, Domantas Sabonis, Dragan Bender, Henry Ellenson, Jakob Pöltl, Jamal Murray, Jaylen Brown, Kris Dunn, Malik Beasley, Malachi Richardson, Marquese Chriss, Skal Labissiere, Taurean Prince, Timothe Luwawu and Wade Baldwin.
NBA veteran Ron Harper, NBA Cares Ambassador Jason Collins and NBA Hall of Fame Bob Lanier were also on hand at the event.
The packing project was aimed too benefit local hospitals throughout New York and New Jersey areas.
On Wednesday, Hield and Denzel Valentine were among four projected top NBA draft picks who watched batting practice from near the Yankees dugout. For Hield, who grew up in the Bahamas and then starred at Oklahoma, it was his first major league game he’d seen in person. He looked eager to take a few cuts, but playfully admitted, “I have a bad swing.” Domantas Sabonis of Gonzaga and Marquese Chriss of Washington also were in attendance ahead of Thursday night’s draft.
The 2016 NBA Draft presented by State Farm will be held on Thursday, June 23, 2016 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Live coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN and the NBA on ESPN Radio.