Thursday, June 21, 2018 | 6:45 p.m.
Troy Brown became the fourth Las Vegas native chosen in the NBA draft in the last five years when the Washington Wizards made him the No. 15 overall pick in Thursday's draft.
Brown, a 6-foot-7 guard, is the third first-rounder from Las Vegas in that span, joining Zach Collins (No. 10 overall in 2017) and Shabazz Muhammad (No. 14 overall in 2014).
Hearing his name called was an emotional moment for Brown, who hosted a draft party for family and friends at Red Rock Resort.
Brown erupted in celebration after hearing his name called on the televised draft broadcast. After embracing his mother and sister, he was teary-eyed and had to take a moment to compose himself before talking to the media.
“I’m just so happy,” Brown said. “Just a lot of joy. I’m crying out of happiness. A lot of hard work goes into it, and it’s my dream come true.”
Brown averaged 11.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists as a freshman at Oregon. Before that, he was a local superstar for four years at Centennial, culminating in a senior season that saw him average 22.3 points and earn Gatorade State Player of the Year honors.
Brown spent most of draft day trying to keep his mind off the NBA. He moved out of his Las Vegas apartment in the morning, then donated clothes, shoes and back-to-school supplies at the Pearson Community Center. But his phone never stopped ringing with calls and texts from friends, family, well-wishers and his inner-circle management team.
When the Wizards made it official with a call to Brown, he finally felt relief.
“I’ve always worked for it and to see it all finally come together, it’s a blessing,” Brown said. “My family, they’ve always had my back through everything. Through the ups and downs they’ve always been there for me, so to be here with them, it’s pure joy.”
Brown said that his private workout for the Wizards was his best showing of the pre-draft circuit and that he knew the team was interested. Now he’ll immediately turn his attention to getting ready for next month’s NBA Summer League and then his first professional season.
“Of course tonight you celebrate,” Brown said, “but me personally I’m going to get in the gym and make sure my game is tight when I go down there. I want to definitely impress them and be ready for summer league.”
Brown also took time on the most important night of his life so far to profess love for his city.
“Being from Vegas, I’ve always loved Vegas,” he said. “I’m born and raised, so being able to rep my hometown is going to be a privilege for me.”