CLIFTON PARK — It’s official, Kevin Huerter is off to the NBA.
The Atlanta Hawks have taken Maryland star and Shenendehowa alumni Kevin Huerter with the 19th overall pick in this year’s NBA draft on Thursday night, after Huerter spent two seasons in College Park.
The pick comes after a lengthy pre-draft season as it was initially seen as Huerter had only declared for the draft to just “test the waters,” but after an impressive performance in private workouts with teams, one of them being the Hawks, and a strong NBA combine, Huerter decided to keep his name in the draft and it paid off on Thursday night.
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“Every single pick, you could just feel the emotion of people behind me waiting for my name to get called. When it finally did, it was incredible,” Huerter told media members at his draft party at the Edison Club in Clifton Park.
In his sophomore year at Maryland, he averaged 14.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. His shooting ability became the main focus of his game, shooting 50.3% from the field and 41.7% from three-point range in his second collegiate season.
In high school at Shenendehowa, he played four seasons on their varsity team, leading them to a state championship in his junior year, the 2014-15 season. In his senior season, he was named Mr. Basketball for the state of New York, leading to his commitment to Mark Turgeon and Maryland. The decision on whether he was going to stay at Maryland was a tough one, but he is glad he made this decision.
“I was thinking about the exact moment I would get drafted, the reaction and the kind of emotions I would go through. I am shaking right now,” Huerter said.
A tough moment came when the New York Knicks made their selection. When NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced the pick, the crowd held their collective breath when “Kevin” was said. When “Knox” followed rather than “Huerter” the crowd of Huerter’s family and friends let out a groan.
Huerter’s father, Tom, decided that he did not want to know where his son was going to play until it was announced on television. However, with Hueter’s agent, Andy Schiffman, being on the phone more and more, he knew it was getting close.
“I’m glad he didn’t tell spurt it on me because I would have broke down. We’re happy, and so happy for him,” the elder Huerter said.
Huerter will also bring international experience to the NBA, as he played with Team USA during the past two summers.
Additionally, iconically, he will join former teammate Ian Anderson for teams that play in Atlanta. Anderson was selected by the Braves in the 2016 MLB draft and is currently in their farm system.
Now, Huerter will begin before his rookie season in the NBA will begin in October. He will likely not play in the summer league due to surgery he recently had on his wrist, a two-month recovery time. However, he is excited to be a part of the NBA.
“I am ready to be a Hawk.”