3 New England products & 7 NERR alums chosen in NBA Draft
60 players were selected in Wednesday night's 2020 NBA Draft.
3 of those once played basketball in New England, either for prep or grassroots programs, while a total of 7 are alums of NERR events.
Here's a rundown of their history to this point and where they ended up on draft night.
#8 Obi Toppin
Toppin's first blip on the recruiting radar came at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival when, as an unsigned senior, he debuted with the New York Jayhawks prior to a post-graduate year at Mount Zion Prep, where he would return to both the National Prep Showcase and National Prep Championship. Toppin went on to Dayton and made a wildly unexpected ascension to became college basketball's National Player of the Year last season before being selected in the lottery by his hometown New York Knicks last night.
#15 Cole Anthony
The longtime PSA Cardinals product was the best point guard in the 2019 national class and played in the 2018 Northeast Hoops Festival. Athletic, aggressive, and with an unmatched killer instinct, Anthony went on to North Carolina but was derailed by injury as a freshman. With the Tar Heels struggling without him, many experts expected him to throw in the towel on the rest of the season, but he returned to play through injury despite not yet being 100%. He was chosen by the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, which reunites him with former PSA teammate Mo Bamba.
#20 Precious Achiuwa
The longtime New Heights big man was also at the 2018 Northeast Hoops Festival. He had been a highly regarded national prospect throughout his high school career, but really started to put the pieces together during a senior campaign at Montverde Academy. That continued last year at Memphis, leading Achiuwa into the first round of the draft after just one season of college basketball. He was chosen by the Memphis Grizzlies with the 20th overall pick.
#39 Elijah Hughes
Hughes arrived at South Kent in September of 2015 as an under-the-radar prospect who had just committed to East Carolina. While he was nowhere near as well-known as teammates like Tremont Waters, Myles Powell, or even Matthew Moyer, it quickly became clear that he was a steal for ECU. After a strong prep campaign, that includes appearances at both the National Prep Showcase and National Prep Championship, he went onto to ECU for a year before transferring to Syracuse. He was the leading scorer in the ACC last year and chosen 9th overall in the second round by the New Orleans Pelicans, but traded to the Utah Jazz.
Been said multiple times & I'll say it again Elijah Hughes is a steal for ECU. The '16 wing is athletic & has great slashing ability. #NPS— Pat Lawless (@PatLawless_) November 22, 2015
#42 Nick Richards
Richards is an Expressions Elite alum who went on to play three years at Kentucky where he didn't necessarily live up to immediate expectations but drew widespread praise after making notable improvements with each passing year. He too was drafted by the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night, although his rights were moved to the Charlotte Hornets as part of a trade.
ESPN 60 @ #NEHF - Mo Bamba, Nick Richards, Makai Ashton-Langford, Tremont Waters, Quade Green, Deng Gak, Jermaine Samuels— NERR (@NERRHoops) April 11, 2016
#45 Jordan Nwora
Nwora is a Vermont Academy alum who also played with the New York Rens on the EYBL. He and the Wildcats played in both the National Prep Showcase and Scholar Roundball Classic in 2016 before going off to Louisville, where he blossomed into one of college basketball's best players. He finished second in the ACC in scorer last year and was also runner-up for the conference's Player of the Year award. He was chosen with the 45th overall pick by the Milwaukee Bucks.
#52 Kenyon Martin Jr.
Martin was the only prep-to-pros pick in the draft last night. The former Vanderbilt commit wasn't considered a realistic NBA prospect when he arrived at IMG Academy last August for a post-grad year but ended up shooting up national rankings and draft boards alike after strong showings in front of NBA scouts at events like the National Prep Showcase and HoopHall Prep Showcase.