Jamaica-born basketball player Nick Richards was selected in the 2020 NBA draft on Wednesday (November 18).
He was chosen by the New Orleans Pelicans with the 42nd pick. He was later traded to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for a 2024 second-round pick.
The 22-year-old was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and attended the Jamaica College. He competed in football, volleyball, and track and field. His skills on the basketball court were discovered by New York City-based basketball scout, Andre Ricketts, during a basketball camp in summer 2013.
Ricketts attended the University of Kentucky where he led the Wildcats with 66 blocks, including 18 games with multiple rejections. He closed his college career ranked third all-time in the field-goal percentage of .628 with a minimum of 50 attempts. He also ranks 10th all-time with 146 career blocks, and his 528 rebounds rank 46th.
His college career came to an unexpected end when the conference champions and the men’s basketball tournament were cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Head coach of Kentucky’s basketball team, John Calipari, shared an emotional video on Twitter of Richards crying upon hearing the news.
Calipari said of Richards: “(He) can shoot it, can block it, can shoot jump shots, can guard guards … this was a great pick.”