CHICAGO (CBS) — Draft night is almost always a combo of stress and excitement for any player hoping to hear his or her name called.
That was especially true for Ayo Dosunmu on Thursday night. He had to wait longer than expected – being the number 38 pick – but he also ended up getting selected by his hometown team.READ MORE: Worries Of A 'Twindemic' As Flu Season Coincides With The COVID-19 Pandemic
Many projected the Morgan Park High School alum and former Illini star to go in the first round. He seemed to solidify his draft status with an outstanding junior season in Champaign.
But in the end, he ended up a second-round pick, and that was mostly fine with him.
“Man, unbelievable! I’m excited, man! It’s probably one of the greatest days of my life. I knew that whenever my name would be called, it would be destined. I knew once we got past the first round, I knew that Chicago was the place, like I just knew it, like it was the place to be,” Dosunmu said. “And when I got the call, I was excited.”
He said the draft numbers were only relevant for one night.READ MORE: Simeon Career Academy Student Shot And Killed Just Blocks From School
“I know there’s not 37 people better than me, and that’s on me to motivate. You know, right now, tonight is only night it’s a number,” Dosunmu said. “From now on, no one has proved anything. Everybody’s going to go out there and prove, and I’m going to try to work my butt off to be the best place I can be.”
Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations Artūras Karnišovas said the team was pleasantly surprised when Dosunmu came up when he did.
“To tell you the truth, we didn’t think he was going to be there at 38, so it was kind of an exciting thing to see him up there, still at 38,” Karnišovas said. :And he’s versatile, long, 6-10 wingspan, 6-5, so he has size. He’s a combo – combo guard, so you know, we rely on versatility, and that’s what we’re looking forward to see.”
Karnišovas added that they interviewed Dosunmu back at the NBA combine and Ayo made it very clear how big a Bulls fan he is.MORE NEWS: Some Schools In Oswego Forced To Go Remote After Dozens Of Bus Drivers Call In Sick
Dosunmu’s draft also comes amid talk that another Chicago Public Schools alum who is familiar to Bulls fans – Derrick Rose – could be returning.