By Stefan Djordjevic / firstname.lastname@example.org
Killian Hayes is ready for the 2020 NBA Draft which will be held tonight and he has been projected by the majority of mocks to get picked up in the lottery.
The 19-year-old French guard aims to become a great teammate and an All-Star but, most of all, to inspire the upcoming generations back home.
“Inspire the next generation, especially in France. I know the sport is getting bigger in France but it’s not as big as soccer so I’m just trying to inspire a lot of young French kids that they can make it to the NBA, that their dream can become possible,” Hayes said in a zoom call.
Both of Killian’s parents were professional basketball players and his father, DeRon, who played across Europe, was a huge influence on him from an early age.
“I got to learn at an early age, he’s been working me out since I was 5, 6 years old. So, I learned everything from him basically. I remember going to his practices, home games… All those memories stuck with me and him being pro made me want to be a pro. He really inspired me to be the player I am today.”
When it comes to other players that he looked after, Manu Ginobili stands out as a fellow leftie who perfect his game and rose to the top. He has also been in contact with fellow countrymen who are currently in the NBA including Tony Parker, Sekou Doumbouya, and Frank Ntilikina.
In fact, Ntilikina might soon enough become a teammate of his as the New York Knicks have shown interest in Hayes and hold the No.8 pick.
When asked about what he improved over the past year, Hayes points to his right-hand skills, his shooting as well as his physicality and conditioning.
“My body, you can see a big difference from eight months ago and now. I shocked a lot of people with my right hand. Now they see me throwing bullet passes with my right hand, finishing, throwing floaters. And also my shooting. Some people question my shooting form, saying I have a low release but now my release is pretty high and I shoot it really well,” he noted.