WASHINGTON, Ill. – Over the course of a few hours in Brooklyn, 60 new professional basketball opportunities were handed out.
Some of the players knew their name would be called – it was just a matter of when. A collection of them were at the Barclays Center to accept the hat of their team and even snap a photo with commissioner Adam Silver.
That’s the part of the draft that’s splashed all over television and social media during the NBA Draft. But a number of players a left back at their respective school or hometowns, left to sweat out their fate till the final picks of the draft.
Yet the wait is very much worth it for those on the draft bubble – like Valparaiso star Alec Peters.
The Washington, Illinois native had to sweat it out with friends and family Kep’s Bar and Grill in his hometown on Thursday night. Peters wasn’t sure if he would be drafted, especially after a late season foot injury limited his workouts for professional scouts after the season.
Eventually, the Phoenix Suns sent their pick to the podium and a familiar name was read at the establishment.
— Gavin Sullivan-MidPro Academy (@G_SullivanMPA) June 23, 2017
Gavin Sullivan, the CEO of the Irish Athletic Program, posted this video on Twitter of Peters hearing his selection by the Phoenix Suns with the 54th over all pick in the second round of the draft.
Cheers erupted among those gathered to watch as and emotional Peters was hugged by a few of those around him.
Peters becomes the sixth player in Valparaiso basketball history to be selected in the NBA Draft and the first since Bryce Drew back in 1998. He was the Horizon League player of the year and an AP Honorable Mention All-American in his senior year with the Crusaders, scoring 23 points and grabbing ten rebound as game as Valparaiso won a third-straight conference title.
Now he gets to continue his career as all of the tension over a few hours on Thursday ended up being well worth the sweat.