When the NBA draft begins at Barclays Center on Thursday night, it could be a sibling fight.
This year’s class of aspiring professionals includes two sets of brothers: Syracuse’s Buddy and Jimmy Boeheim and Trey and Bryce McGowens of the University of Nebraska. (There were almost three: Keegan Murray is projected to be in the top five, while his twin brother Kris decided to return to the University of Iowa earlier this month).
While it’s not unprecedented, “it’s quite rare,” Roc Nation agent Drew Gross, who represents both Boeheim and McGowen, told The Post. “It was cool to see how they introduce each other.”
The twins Jason and Jarron Collins were both elected in 2001. Brook and Robin Lopez were selected from Stanford in 2008. And in 2011, the twins Markieff and Marcus Morris were elected in the first round. But NBA honor is not a slam dunk. There is Andrew Wiggins, who was the first general qualifier in 2014, while his brother Nick remained undriven and played abroad.
Brothers McGowen and Boeheim also have different predictions, with both younger siblings expected to look earlier. Here they talk about sharing a special bond with The Post while hunting for their NBA dreams.
Former Nebraska star Bryce McGowens, 19, sought more than a flashy style statement to shape the appearance of the draft – he wanted to honor his big brother, Trey.
“I went in a light gray suit,” 6-foot-long Bryce told The Post. “She has a Trey sweater and my shirt is sewn on the inside … Without her, I wouldn’t be at this stage. She taught me a lot this way.”
A sartorial tribute is a sweet touch for the natives of South Carolina. “I don’t want to be too soft. I’m happy. I’ll keep it a little inside,” Trey, 22, told The Post. “It’s extremely exciting because we really did it together.”
Now the siblings are competing for a place on the NBA list. They signed with the same agent and lived a few minutes apart in Las Vegas, where they trained most of the drafting process.
“We talk every day. After each workout, we call each other to see how the workout went,” said Trey, 6 feet long.
The couple has not been on the same team since the age of 5 and 8. But over the past year, they have made up for it. In 2020, Trey Pitt moved to the University of Nebraska, and although he claims he did not influence his brother, Bryce followed.
“When I found out Bryce was coming to Nebraska, I was thrilled because we could never play high school ball together. And when I was in the corner, it helped me. that there would be someone who wants the best for him, ”said Trey about his brother, who collected an average of 16.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists last season.
The couple is from a sports family. Their father, Bobby, played both football and basketball in South Carolina, while their mother, Pam, played college rings. They decided to enter the bill separately and said that their common path had not been planned, but it has been a bonus.
“Literally everything is perfectly in place. It’s crazy,” Trey said.
They did not work with any team, but each organization has asked the brothers for scout reports on the others.
“They asked who was the best player I’ve ever played with. It’s Bryce’s hands down. It was the simplest question I had in the whole drafting process, “said Trey, who describes her little brother as” sweetheart. ” He’s a good guy. ”
Bryce is predicted to be either a late first-round player or an early second-round player. At the same time, Treyl, whom Gross called “undervalued,” has yet to be proven. He missed part of last season with a leg fracture.
“When I came to the draft, I knew I had to work for my place. I realize it will take time,” said Trey, who added that when I hear the name of my brother, there is no jealousy of siblings.
Bryce repeated that feeling, “We knew we had two different paths, but he gets what he has.”
During the months-long draft process, the message thread of their family, which is about 20 relatives deep, was lit every morning with inspirational words from the Bible and grandparents. “Our family has had ten toes all the way,” Bryce said, adding that they were “traveling in a pack.”
In this spirit, the family is likely renting a charter bus from New Carolina to New York. They will gather in a 40/40 club where they will hopefully celebrate at least one, hopefully two NBA starters.
But instead of waiting for a champagne bath, Bryce hopes for a more comforting treat.
“My aunt Stacey and uncle Maurice are making the best cookie pudding,” he said. “Hopefully they’ll get it. I’ll send them a message now.”
As a child, Jimmy and Buddy Boeheim competed infamously. “It was probably unhealthier than anything else,” 22-year-old Buddy told The Post. The sons of legendary Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said their fighting behavior was mostly evident in the family’s playroom, where they fought their Little Tikes ring.
“We played for hours every day and every time it ended in a fight,” 24-year-old Jimmy told The Post. “Someone ran to my mother and father to cry and tried to establish rules where we were not allowed [the room]. We would sneak in and play. My father tried to serve and then we started shouting at him.
But they have left the battles of their siblings behind with the goal of becoming a pro – a process that has involved training with the Knicks together. Jimmy played in Cornell and finished last season in Syracuse, playing with his sharply shooting six-foot-long brother, who became known as “Buddy Buckets” after being taken to Orangemen in Sweet Sixteen in 2021.
As far as the conclusion of the agency agreement is concerned, they admit that it was a package deal and went with Roc Nationi Gross, the former Syracus team leader. They moved to a heavenly building on West 42nd Street, where they shared an apartment and learned to live outside the bubble in Boeheim.
The couple met in Syracuse last year, and Buddy admits that his mother, Juli, occasionally made the bed and cleaned the room. “She would cry because it was dirty. I got a little careless … I’m confused. She’s clean,” Buddy said of his 6-foot-long brother.
“I train her day by day. I put her in the dishwasher today. My mother would impress,” Jimmy said.
Looking to a post-graduate career is a surreal place for both of them. “I’ve always thought about playing in Syracuse, and that’s all I ever wanted to do. I didn’t even know I could play there. I was never a good player when I grew up,” Buddy said.
They both admitted that there were late bloomers on the square, even though they lived, breathed and ate Syracuse basketball. Between the Orangemen and their father’s U.S. team coaching, they were surrounded by their idols, some of whom they had seen visiting the teams throughout the drafting process.
“I saw Melo a few weeks ago. He wrote me before the games and gave me advice. That means a lot, ”Buddy said, adding that he has signed up with former Cuse’s distinguished Dion Waites, Michael Carter Williams, Clipper’s assistant Wes Johnson, and former US team and current Warriors star Andre Iguodala.
“He hugged me and told me to do my thing and everything would be fine,” Buddy told Iguodala. “It’s definitely full of circles. They’re watching you and watching you, and you looked down on them like kids. It’s pretty cool.”
Neither participates in the Barclays draft. They gather with friends and family for the Big Apple and wait to find out the fate of their basketball.
“I don’t know how the process will turn out, but I have goals to play in the NBA and I want to be there. It’s about seizing the opportunity,” Buddy said, adding that he has no back-up plan except to follow his father’s coaching job in the near future.
At the same time, Jimmy, who earned a degree in finance, hopes he won’t have to use it. Even if it means reaching Europe.
“It simply came to our notice then. I am more interested in this than coaching, ”he said.
And when the younger Boeheim enters the NBA, the parent says the harsh days in the playroom, where every race ended in tears, won’t come back.
“We want each other to get as far as we can,” Jimmy said. “I can play in the YMCA and I can [still] I want him to get as far in the league as possible.
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