Dreams Achieved: Learn about the stars UPB helped during the NBA Pre-Draft process
Learn about the hidden gems in the 2019 draft class that we’ve been lucky enough to get to know here in California.
Jaxson Hayes: New Orleans Pelicans (8th pick)
The Longhorn forward averaged 10 points and five rebounds and two blocks per game in just 20 minutes at Texas, and possesses the offensive prowess to dominate in the paint. As the Big 12 Freshman of the Year, Hayes was second in all of college basketball with 72% of his field goals turning into made shots. During spring workouts with our staff, Hayes worked on improving his soft touch, footwork and the ability to make reads. Off the court, he is a self-proclaimed “Momma’s Boy” and has the swagger of a champion (look no further than his Simpsons themed necklace at the draft). Looking forward to seeing the 1-2 punch with Zion in New Orleans now that Hayes has explored the West Coast and seen his favorite animal, a giraffe, live with Packie.
Grant Williams: Boston Celtics (22nd pick)
The Tennessee fan favorite is poised to make quite a name for himself in Boston after a superb senior year. Williams finished his time in Knoxville averaging 18.8 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. With that said, Williams comes from humble beginnings and was largely forgotten about when being recruited out of high school. While training with Packie in Santa Barbara, Williams worked on his mid-range jumpshot, going from 17 footers in college to near 25 footers which is the college average, per Jared Weiss of The Athletic.
Frankie Ferrari: Salt Lake City Jazz (Summer League)
University of San Francisco firecracker of a guard Frankie Ferrari signed on to play Summer League for the Utah Jazz. Ferrari has made a name nationally because of his ability to light it up from beyond the arc, 40% last season. Here in the Bay Area, he’ll be forever known as the best player to suit up for Burlingame High School, and he first told Packie about the space that has become UPB’s home in Burlingame. Basketball runs in the Ferrari blood and his brother Ralphie is currently the video coordinator for USF.
Sagaba Konate: Toronto Raptors (Summer League)
Konate, a proud Mali native, only has been playing basketball since sophomore year. In less than five years, he has morphed into quite the well-rounded player. At West Virginia, Konate averaged 13.6 points, eight rebounds and nearly three blocks per game before being sidelined due to injury. Konate is known as a finisher in the paint, but often faces criticism for what many perceive as a lack of scoring ability. In Santa Barbara, Packie saw firsthand the delicate touch that Konate possesses making him another weapon in Toronto’s arsenal.
Jalen McDaniels: Charlotte Hornets (52nd pick)
As a sophomore for San Diego State, McDaniels averaged 15.9 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. Heralded as an elite scorer in the mold of an agile big, McDaniels possess the ability to score from all three levels of the court. His brother, Jaden, is also a basketball sensation and recently committed to Washington.
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Behind the creation of UPBYCF lies years of activism for both Turners and a sustained interest in bettering communities in The Bay Area. They know the statistics that six times as many low-income students drop youth sports when compared to those from high-income families because of access (Aspen Institute Project Play Initiative). They also know firsthand the power sports has to build character because “a survey of 400 female corporate executives found 94% played a sport and that 61% say sports contributed to their career success (EY Women Athletes Business Network/espnW, 2014). The launch of UPBYCF is bounded in these statistics and in past experiences both Turners have had with nonprofits such as The Boys and Girls Club, Big Homie Project, and Play MakeHers. Yearly clinics at UPB have focused on women’s empowerment, and tackled issues like access to sports, and hunger.
Justin Anderson was considered a top recruit coming out of the D.C. metro area starting in eighth grade, and was considered a top 50 prospect coming out of Montrose High School. With offers from Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Texas, it’s easy to assume he was bound for greatness immediately out of his high school, but in fact, it was his preparation and diligence on and off the court that made him able to have a successful professional basketball career.