Hamilton Heights Set to Produce NBA Draft Pick in Shai Gilgeous Alexander
Chattanooga-(WDEF-TV) Hamilton Heights has a high school enrollment of roughly 70 kids.
And yet one of their former students should be taken in the NBA draft Thursday night. Canadian Shai Gilgeous Alexander played two years for the Hawks here in Chattanooga. No doubt Hamilton Heights headmaster Duke Stone can’t wait to see one of his school’s graduates play against the best pros in the world.
Duke Stone recalls Shai Gilgeous Alexander was not afraid to attack the basket when he arrived at Hamilton Heights as a junior.
Said Stone:”He played against some of the top 10 or 15 players in the country. You would watch him penetrate and finish, especially because he was pretty slight of built. He was skinny, and you would watch him finish and just go how does he do that?”
Gilgeous Alexander did not put up huge numbers with the Hawks, and with good reason.
Said Stone:”Shai’s junior year, that may up until now be the best team we’ve ever had. There’s a possibility there will be three NBA players on that team, and so Shai had to share the ball a lot.”
Of course Gilgeous Alexander joined a lot of good players when he got to Kentucky, and he was ready to prove himself according to Stone.
Said Stone:”I think the challenge of going in as the lowest recruited player that year. They had eight or nine freshmen coming in, and Shai was the only one that wasn’t a five-star.”
And yet Shai was the one who started impressing Cats Coach John Calipari.
Said Calipari in March:”He works as hard as anyone I’ve had in practice. Bring it to the level he can bring it every day. Tried to tell the rest of the team, do you see what has happened for him? And he doesn’t play for himself, he plays for the team.”
Now Gilgeous-Alexander sounds ready for the NBA, including the league’s biggest name.
Said Gilgeous-Alexander:”I think I’m already kicked in as a competitor. I’m ready to go in LeBron’s head. (chuckles) Yeah.”
Said Stone:”He has worked hard. He’s focused, and he has done what he has needed to do to put himself in this position.”