3 Prep Products Taken in NBA Draft
Three former New England prep products were selected in Thursday night's NBA Draft.
Brewster Academy alum Donovan Mitchell and New Hampton alum Tyler Lydon weren't just taken in the first round they were actually traded for each other.
More accurately, the picks they were selected with were included in a trade for each other prior to the picks being made and so when Denver selected Mitchell with the 13th overall pick it was actually Utah who was selecting Mitchell, and in fact made the deal specifically to get him. The irony was when Denver used Utah's 24th pick to select Lydon.
Another Brewster alum, Jonah Bolden, was selected early in the second round when Philadelphia picked him 36th overall.
Brewster Academy head coach Jason Smith was at the Barclay's Center for Thursday night's draft and got more than one mention during Thursday night's ESPN broadcast.
Mitchell was part of Brewster's 2015 class and finished as the 3rd ranked player in New England that year. His calling card was his athleticism in his high school days and the tip-dunk his trademark staple. Prior to attending Brewster, he began his prep career at the Canterbury School where people expected him to keep growing because of his big hands, big feet, and long arms. Mitchell didn't keep growing though, physically at least, what he did was dramatically enhance his skill set during his two years at Louisville. Draft analysts from both ESPN and Yahoo used words like "shooter" and "potential point guard" to describe Mitchell on Thursday night. Neither would have been accurate a couple of years ago. He was always explosive and powerful with a high motor and tremendous character, but the development of his game is a testament to his work-ethic and dedication and ultimately the reason he ended up being a lottery pick.
Lydon was also part of New England's 2015 class and finished as the 5th ranked prospect in the class. He spent two years at New Hampton and former NHS head coach, and current Dartmouth assistant, Pete Hutchins always raved of his work ethic and natural talent. Lydon's production wasn't always as consistent though and when he finished his prep career by failing to break double figures against both Brewster and NMH there were questions about the direction in which he was trending. Similar to Mitchell though, his work-ethic was about to pay off. There were actually times during his senior year where Syracuse was reportedly on the fence about keeping his early commitment, but almost immediately after he arrived on campus, the Orange coaches began to echo Hutchins' sentiments. His game was always that of a prototypical stretch-four and when his frame stretched from 6-foot-8 to 6-foot-10 he became one with NBA size.
Bolden was a part of Brewster's 2014 class and finished as the 6th ranked prospect in New England that year. An Australian native who initially made a huge name for himself at an Adidas Nations Global event, Bolden arrived in Wolfeboro for the second semester of the 13-14 season having already committed to UCLA. He was deemed only a partial qualifier for the Bruins next year, causing him to sit out his freshman year before finally suiting up in 15-16. He left UCLA following the season and played professionally in Serbia this past year. His trajectory is somewhat similar to Lydon's in that he's now a classic stretch-four man whose late spurt from 6-foot-8 to 6-foot-10 was critical to his NBA upside.