BAHAMIAN Chavano ‘Buddy’ Hield was taken by the New Orleans Pelicans as the sixth pick in the first round of the National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft on Thursday night in Brooklyn, New York.
Hield, a 6ft 4in, 207lb shooting guard, had a star-studded senior season at Oklahoma University, averaging 25 points per game, with a successful shooting percentage of 50 from the field and 45 from three-point range. A native of Freeport, Grand Bahama, the 22-year-old picked up a host of post-season awards after his exploits with the Sooners.
His family cheered and waved Bahamian flags in the Brooklyn Centre as the pick was announced and starting chanting “242”.
Hield pledged his commitment to fans in the ‘Big Easy’. “New Orleans is getting a high character guy who is known for his basketball but at the same time who is going to help the community,” he said. “I’ll do whatever it takes to win and I hate losing so they’re getting a hard worker, someone who will do everything they can for this organisation”.
As for the surroundings as he looks to start his professional basketball life, he said: “I know they have great food, I know it’s not too far from the Bahamas. I know they have beaches; not like the Bahamas but there are beaches there so that’s always good. Like I said it’s not too far from home so I love it.”
Ben Simmons, a small forward from Louisiana State University, was the first pick, by the Philadelphia 76ers. He was followed by two more small forwards, Brandon Ingram, of Duke University, who went to the Los Angeles Lakers, and Jaylen Brown, of California State, to the Boston Celtics.
Dragan Bender, a power forward from Israel, went fourth to the Phoenix Suns while the Minnesota Timberwolves took Kris Dunn, a point guard.