Deandre Ayton: AAU Basketball Became a Job in the U.S. | Def Pen
Deandre Ayton
Deandre Ayton is expected to be drafted number one in the 2018 NBA Draft (Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports)

Deandre Ayton is originally from the Bahamas but moved to the United States when he was just 12 years old. It didn’t take long for him to be put on the map in a basketball sense, as he was rated the number one eighth grader in the country. Yet it was back in 2011 at a basketball camp in Nassau in the Bahamas where he was first discovered.
It was around this time that Ayton began to feel like basketball was a job. Ayton came to realize that he never had the childhood that many of the kids he grew with. “I grew up and realized I never really had a childhood. It was just basketball and business. Never went to Disneyland or any of that. Kids used to tell me about it, and I’d have to lie and say, ‘Yeah, I went.’ But I never knew any of that,” Ayton said. He also added “Sometimes I’d go a month without talking to my mother. You’re [in the gym] going 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. It was like a job.”
Ayton has gone onto to big things outside of his much-maligned time in AAU including a nearly 20-20 game against North Carolina as a 15-year-old. He is projected to go in the top two in the 2018 NBA Draft later this month as well. Most are projecting him to go number one to the Suns as him and Luka Doncic have begun to separate themselves among most experts as the draft’s top two prospects.


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