HOBOKEN – Tyshawn Taylor watched the NBA Draft Thursday night with friends at Room 84 in Hoboken, not knowing when he might hear his name called.
A little past 11 p.m. Taylor got word of his destination -- and he’s not traveling far from his home in the mile-square city.
Taylor, the former St. Anthony standout who played his college basketball at the University of Kansas, was acquired by the Brooklyn Nets in the second round of the draft.
Taylor was taken by the Portland Trailblazers with the 41st pick overall, then shipped to the Nets in exchange for cash considerations.
Taylor was part of the St. Anthony 2008 national championship team that posted a perfect 32-0 record and featured six players who went on to play NCAA Division I basketball. That team was also highlighted in the award-winning documentary, “The Street Stops Here.”
Taylor was then was a four-year starter at Kansas, scoring 1,580 points and dishing off for 575 assists over his career. He was a Third Team All-America and First Team All-Big 12 selection, leading the Jayhawks to the NCAA Championship game, before falling to Kentucky.
Taylor averaged 16.6 points and 4.8 assists last season for Kansas.
Nets general manager Billy King said that the team liked Taylor from the outset.
“We had him on our board pretty high,” King said. “We were trying to get a young point guard that we could groom. We liked his pedigree and his ability to play in big games. Once we started to slide, we made the move to get him. We liked his overall play as a point guard and we think his best basketball is ahead of him. We like his decision making and his size. He knows what it takes to be successful. He’s played with a lot of talented players in the past and that makes you a better player.”
Taylor originally had hoped he would be taken higher. There were some published reports that had him going to the Chicago Bulls in the first round, but that didn’t materialize. He had to patiently wait out the proceedings to see where he would end up.
“I was hearing different things,” Taylor told the Kansas City Star. “I was sitting on a step inside the restaurant and kept shaking my head about the pick before me. I was getting a little upset.”
However, Taylor was apparently not upset with his destination.
“It’s weird,” Taylor said in the Kansas City Star. “I told myself at the beginning of the draft that I probably would get drafted by a team I didn’t work out for. And that’s exactly the case with Brooklyn.”
Taylor becomes the seventh St. Anthony product to be selected in the NBA Draft, joining David Rivers (Los Angeles Lakers first round, 1988); Bobby Hurley (Sacramento Kings first round, 1993); Terry Dehere (Los Angeles Clippers first round, 1993); Rodrick Rhodes (Houston Rockets first round, 1997); Roshown McLeod (Atlanta Hawks first round, 1998) and Ahmad Nivins (Dallas Mavericks second round, 2009).
Taylor is also the first Hoboken native to be taken in the draft since Derrick Alston was taken by the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round of the 1994 NBA Draft.
For more about Taylor’s draft experience, read Jim Hague’s Scoreboard column in next weekend's editions (July 8) of the Hudson Reporter Newspapers. – Jim Hague