Brooklyn, NY (FOX19) - Former Moeller High School basketball star Jaxson Hayes made some history on Thursday night when he was selected No. 8 overall in the NBA draft.
Hayes, drafted by the Pelicans via the Atlanta Hawks, became the highest NBA draft pick ever out of Cincinnati with his top ten selection.
“It’s just really been crazy," said Hayes. “Two years ago today, I was on a high school team barely playing. Now, I’m a lottery pick. My game has grown a ton. I feel like I’m going to come in and give the (Pelicans) everything I’ve got.”
Hayes former high school teammate Jeremiah Davenport, who is now playing at the University of Cincinnati, was at a watch party for Hayes at Moeller high school and couldn’t stop smiling when he saw Hayes in the spotlight for his big moment on national TV.
“He worked so hard for this all his life," said Davenport. "Now, to see him drafted, a lottery pick, top eight -- I’ve got a lot of emotions going on. It’s crazy.”
Hayes spent one season of college basketball at Texas and will now play alongside the No. 1 overall pick in the draft and former Duke star Zion Williamson in New Orleans.
Princeton product Darius Bazley, who de-committed from Syracuse out of high school and signed with Klutch Sports to spend a year preparing for the draft, was selected No. 23 overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder via the Utah Jazz.