Originally projected as a first-round draft choice as early as 2017, prior to returning to the University of Kentucky, Diallo came off the board at 45 overall.
Though he was technically drafted by the Brooklyn Nets, by virtue of a trade earlier in the week in which the 45th draft pick was sent to the Charlotte Hornets, Diallo expected to land in the Tar Heel State, but was quickly shipped out to Oklahoma City, where he’ll play with the Thunder.
“I feel like I made the right decision,” said Diallo during May’s NBA Draft Combine despite being projected as a first round pick in 2017. “And if I had to do it again, I'm doing the same thing, going back to school and playing a year in Kentucky and trying to make it work like I did this year.”
The trade to Oklahoma City won’t become official until July 6, when the league moratorium period begins.
Diallo played for John Bowne High School before transferring to Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut, and subsequently choosing to attend Kentucky. Locally, Diallo played AAU basketball with the New York Jayhawks and New York Renaissance.
Canarsie-native and former Christ the King standout Rawle Alkins went undrafted, but will play for the Toronto Raptors in the NBA summer league in hopes of making a future in the league.
“I think the NBA is going to be better for me because it’s a faster game and there’s a lot more space on the court,” Alkins told BQE Media. “I feel like I’m designed to be in the NBA. It’s position-less basketball, and that’s how teams view me. It’s always great to see a team view you the way you view yourself.”
Alkins played for Middle Village-based Christ the King High School for two seasons before transferring to finish his high school career in North Carolina. He attended the University of Arizona for two seasons, but did not hear his name called on draft night despite projecting as a second-round pick.
Like Diallo, Alkins also played with the New York Rens.