AJ Griffin shares ‘special’ NBA Draft with Archbishop Stepinac High School team

When AJ Griffin heard his title known as in the course of the 2022 NBA Draft on Thursday night time, he had no scarcity of family and friends there to have fun alongside him. 

Griffin, who grew up in Ossining, N.Y., starred at Archbishop Stepinac Excessive College. And a majority of the Stepinac basketball program confirmed up at Barclays Heart to help considered one of their very own, watching from up shut as Griffin grew to become the college’s first ever first-round decide. 

“That’s particular, man, to have my coach there and to only really feel the love from the neighborhood,” Griffin stated. “I’m about to go get dinner with them. I simply can’t wait to say what’s up and simply get pleasure from this night time with them.” 

They needed to wait longer to start the celebration than some anticipated after Griffin fell to the Hawks with the Sixteenth-overall choice. 

Main as much as draft night time, Griffin’s inventory had fluctuated. Considerations lingered over his prolonged harm historical past. However, on the identical time, Griffin’s potential proved tantalizing — he’s a 6-foot-6 wing coming off a strong freshman season at Duke through which he averaged 10.4 factors per recreation and shot 45 p.c from past the 3-point arc. 

AJ Griffin reacts after being drafted by the Hawks.
AJ Griffin reacts after being drafted by the Hawks.
Photograph by Sarah Stier/Getty Photographs
AJ Griffin on stage with commissioner Adam Silver.
AJ Griffin on stage with commissioner Adam Silver.
Getty Photographs

Griffin, who gained’t flip 19 till August, has labored his entire life towards this second. The youngest of three basketball-crazed siblings, Griffin grew up battling his brother, Alan, and sister, Aubrey. Each performed Division I school basketball — Alan at Illinois and Syracuse, Aubrey at Connecticut — and AJ adopted of their footsteps. 

“We dreamed about that second,” Griffin stated. “I believe it’s a reminiscence I’m going to recollect eternally, and I’m positive they may, too.” 

And Griffin honed his craft underneath the tutelage of his dad, Adrian, a former Seton Corridor star and a 10-year professional who at the moment serves as an assistant coach for the Raptors. 

“He gave me a lot recommendation,” Griffin stated when requested about his dad’s influence. “Simply to be right here at the moment and simply to share this second with him, he simply at all times advised me the reality, at all times gave me the most effective recommendation a father may. I’m simply actually grateful and blessed to have a father like him.” 

Griffin can now work on carving out his personal NBA legacy. 

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