ROANOKE, Va. – In less than 24 hours, childhood dreams will turn into reality for 60 young men at the 2019 NBA draft. They will then become part of an elite group -- the 1% who will experience playing in the NBA. Several of the top prospects, including some University of Virginia Cavaliers and a Virginia Tech Hokie, are already in New York getting ready.
The ACC is well represented, as always, in the prospects class with 14 men. UVA's De'Andre Hunter was invited to New York and is expecting to be one of the top 10 picks in the draft. His teammate, Ty Jerome, is hoping his name will be called, also.
For Virginia Tech, Nickeil Alexander-Walker is also in the Big Apple for Thursday night. The 6-foot-5 guard ranked eighth in the ACC in scoring, averaging 16.2 points per game on 47% shooting from the field. Though he missed some time due to injury, guard Justin Robinson has gained increased attention over the past few months and will anxiously wait to see if his name is called.
Duke's Zion Williamson is expected to go first overall to the New Orleans Pelicans and feels no pressure.
"I don't really see the pressure. I'm doing what I love to do, and that's play basketball," said Williamson.
"I don't try to live up to nobody's expectations. They can set them there. I don't try to live up to them. I just try to be me, be the best version of myself that I can be."
The draft will start at 7 p.m. Thursday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.