MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Golden State Warriors with the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft selected former Memphis Tiger, James Wiseman.
Wiseman averaged 34.2 points in three games as a freshman for the Tigers before a 12-game suspension by the NCAA because his family received money during the recruitment process. The 7-foot-1, 240-pound Wiseman decided to turn his attention to the draft while serving the penalty.
When Wiseman heard his named called, he was overcome with emotions.
“Why I bust out in tears is because I’ve been through a lot,” Wiseman said. “Especially last year, I text my teammates every day in Memphis. I wanted that moment with my teammates then seeing all that, become like a downfall.”
Wiseman added, “I had to bust out in tears because I’ve been through a lot of adversity in my life. I’m ready to go to Golden State with a great mindset. With a different mindset. Ready to go in there and just learn as much as possible. Grow my game and just adapt. Just work my tail off.”
News that guard Klay Thompson injured his leg earlier in the day during a workout in Southern California put a damper on Golden State’s draft.
“As soon as I seen [the news], it was kind of down for me, like emotionally,” Wiseman said. “But the team, we got his back no matter what and he’s going to be in great recovery.. all prayers be to Klay, my teammate, and he’s going to be just fine.”
The 19-year-old said he is looking forward to learning from his new teammates.
“Just being that guy, just to come in there and learn as much as possible,” Wiseman said. Me coming in (with) great vets: Steph Curry, (and) you got Klay Thompson. You got Draymond Green. Marquese Chriss. Kevon Looney. You got a lot of great players on that team. Me just coming in, trying to fit my role.”
Wiseman added, ” (I) just try to stay humble and be coachable, which I am. Work hard and play hard. Really that fit and that position that I’m in. It’s a great position for me. Great fit for me. I’m just ready to go in there and play my role.”
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The Associated Press contributed to this story.