With the ninth pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, the Utah Jazz select Gordon Hayward from Butler University.
Gordon Hayward? Seriously?
Who is Gordon Hayward and what convinced the Jazz to select him with the ninth pick in the draft? 6 feet 7 inches tall, 115 pounds isn’t exactly your NBA body style. (Ok, 200 pounds.) Jazz fans went into the draft hoping for the next big center to bring stability in the middle, a solid post game, and the defensive stability to stand up against the Lakers big men. That in mind, the boos directed toward Hayward and Jazz General Manager, Kevin O’Connor, may have been justified. But before we chalk Hayward up as the biggest Jazz draft flop since Nazr Mohammed , let’s find out exactly who this Gordon Hayward kid really is.
Gordon Hayward was born in Brownsburg, Indiana. He has a twin sister and according to his family, was born to play basketball. Growing up Hayward was a star basketball player, but lacked the size needed to be as successful as his talent would allow him to be. As a freshman in high school Hayward nearly walked away from the game after thinking to himself that he was too small to play the game. He and his sister were star tennis players and he was seriously considering leaving the game of basketball and pursuing his tennis career. Shortly after these thoughts, Hayward experienced a growth spurt that was enough to persuade him to stick with his basketball career. It paid off, Hayward committed to Butler University on a basketball scholarship.
At Butler, Hayward shined as a star basketball player. As a true freshman he made an instant impact averaging just over 13 points on a Butler team that was returning four starters from the year before. His sophomore year he only improved, averaging 15.5 points a game and leading the little school from just outside Indianapolis to the Final Four in the NCAA Tournament. Hayward nearly led Butler to the National Championship, but just missed a shot from half court to win the game at the buzzer.
Gordon Hayward left Butler University, got drafted by the Jazz and moved here to Utah. Living on his own for the first time, Gordon Hayward brought his own personal butler to come to Utah with him, his Dad. Growing up, Hayward was all about basketball, like most NBA players. Somewhere along the line however, young Hayward never learned how to cook, pay bills or do laundry. Not even being able to cook well enough to feed himself, Hayward has brought his Dad from Indiana to Utah to live with him and help him figure out how to live on his own.
As an NBA basketball player, we have yet to find out much about Hayward. Some Jazz fans are believers and feel that Hayward is the next NBA star, others are still skeptical and have their doubts about why the Jazz didn’t select someone bigger or more athletic player, all Jazz fans however, are anxious to see how the young kid plays.
Deron Williams says he’s more athletic than people give him credit for, Jerry Sloan says his basketball IQ is far beyond his years. Who is this kid? What kind of player is he? My guess, Gordon Hayward turns heads and surprises people as Kevin O’Connor once again proves himself as one of the best general managers in the game.