Julian Champagnie will be writing his last “down players” chapter in the 2022 NBA draft

History repeats itself for Julian Champagnie.

The suspects are questioning him. Critics are punching holes in his game.

In high school, there was a sign that he was not good enough to play college basketball. Now that he has become one of the best players in the Big East, he hears the same thing about his NBA prospects.

“I’m quite used to the words ‘Oh, he’s not ready’ or ‘Oh, he’s not going to,'” Champagnie, a former St. John’s star from Brooklyn, who has trained for 13 NBA teams. spoke in a telephone interview with The Post. “It’s the same in the sense that he’s being reviewed.”

No matter what happens in Thursday’s 2022 NBA draft – the talented 6-foot Champagnie is considered by many scouts to be the second round choice – even being in that position is somewhat disturbed.

He was a two-star recruiter at Bishop Loughlin High School. He was the second Champagnie to play in the shadow of his twin brother Justin. He recalled hearing from people living in the city at local tournaments that he was “garbage”, that he couldn’t play college basketball at the highest level and would never be as good as Justin.

“It simply came to our notice then [when I’m working out]”he said.” It’s the best fuel. “

Julian Champagnie
Through the NBAE Getty Images

One of the few colleges that wanted him was Pittsburgh. Jeff Capel was actually looking for both brothers. During high school, the plan was for them to go to preparatory school together and attend college. After the twins visited Pittsburgh, they both orally dedicated themselves to Capel. But Justin, who was more communicative and social, didn’t want to wait another year. He was ready then. Julian just didn’t want to follow his brother. He released his duties before the announcement.

“It took a lot of courage for Julian to say I’m doing my thing and I’m a man myself,” said Adam Berkowitz, one of their New Heights AAU coaches.

This spring, St. John’s coach replaced Chris Mullini with Mike Anderson, and Anderson hired Van Macon as one of his assistants. Macon, from Queens, was very familiar with Champagne and saw something he didn’t see. Macon told Champagnie he plays great minutes as a freshman and is one of the building blocks of the program. More introverted than Justin, he liked the idea of ​​staying close to home and playing at the school where his father, Ranford, won the national football championship.

After a strong freshman season, Champagnie exploded in the second year, leading Big East in scoring. Suddenly, the quiet recruited child was a star. This huge leap did not happen by accident. It was common for Champagnie to inject three times a day.

“He’s the toughest worker I’ve ever been around, legally,” said Chris Huey, St. John’s director of basketball operations. “Be it training in the morning, coming to training and practicing with the team, and coming back at night, he worked more than anyone else I’ve been around. That’s how he is. Not overly social, don’t go out. He likes the ball, he likes to be in the gym and he wants to prove that people are wrong.

Red storm
Julian Champagnie hits St. John’s jump.
Corey Sipkin

Champagnie, 20, has been the face of the program for the past two years, its biggest goal scorer and rebounder. He was the player teams for which the games were planned. The player, who was able to score goals in all three levels, achieved career highs last year in terms of cut-outs, assists and blocked shots. In addition to his professional work habits, loyalty, and maturity, Huey said he “needs no maintenance.”

However, there are still questions about whether he will be able to defend his wings in the NBA and do enough after the shoot to make a niche in the league. He will almost certainly have to prove himself in the G-League first.

“I’m an underdog and that’s okay,” said Champagnie, who hopes to be the first St. John’s player after Sir’Dominic Pointer in the second round in 2015 (53rd overall) by Cavaliers. “I’m just looking for an opportunity. Give me a chance and I’ll make the most of it.

Champagnie recalled a conversation he had with Edniesha Curry of one of the NBA’s coaches, Trail Blazers. “Don’t let it eat you,” Curry told him. “There are players who get a draw and who are out of the league in a year. Your story may be different.”

“It doesn’t determine who you are,” Curry said.

Justin was not elected, but he signed a bilateral agreement with the Raptors and played in 36 games. There are countless unscheduled stories of men entering the league. The latest incident was that the former Christ the King star, Jose Alvarado, dropped last year and gave the impression on Pelicans that a four-year, $ 6.5 million contract was signed with him in March.

However, Champagnie’s loved ones hope to get their name on Thursday night. Justin remembered how upset he was when he wasn’t taken — his brother was comforting him that night — and that would mean so much not only to Champagnie that he was elected, but to his brother. He knows how far his twin has come.

“Before she starts crying, I’m going to cry,” Justin said. “He means the world to me, this boy. I love him to death. Only the fulfillment of his dream would make me feel that my dream came true.

#Julian #Champagnie #writing #players #chapter #NBA #draft