Five interesting things you should know about top draft prospect Buddy Hield

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With the NBA Finals concluding tonight after another enthralling season, all eyes will soon turn to this week's Draft.

The Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers will do battle in a seventh and deciding game at the Oracle Arena for the Larry O'Brien trophy in one of the most eagerly anticipated games in recent memory.  

From Monday, though, the eyes of the basketball world will focus on the Barclays Center in Brooklyn as the next crop of talent enters the NBA.

The big question mark surrounds the number one pick and whether Ben Simmons of LSU or Brandon Ingram of Duke will be selected by the Philadelphia 76ers, who were handed the top pick in the Draft Lottery.

Aside from those two, there are still a number of promising players who can become household names in the NBA. One name that immediately springs to mind is Oklahoma Sooners product Buddy Hield.

The 22-year-old announced himself in the NCAA tournament as he led his college to the Final Four of the famous competition. Those aware of him before the tournament kicked off would know that he guided Oklahoma to a 25-7 record on the year.

With a number of big outbursts during March Madness, Hield's name dominated social media for much of the competition as basketball fans stood up and took notice of a potential future star in the league.

As a projected top-five pick in the draft, here are five interesting things you should know about the youngster from the Bahamas.


Buddy's real name is Chavano Rainier Hield. His nickname "Buddy" was given to him by his mother Jackie after Bud Bundy of the sitcom Married... with Children.

His mother and a friend of her's decided he resembled the TV character and felt the name was appropriate. 

Although we like the name Chavano, Buddy sounds much cooler so we're glad he's chosen to run with that name instead.

Bahamian roots

Hield will become the third player with Bahamian roots to play in the NBA after Mychal Thompson and Rick Fox.

However, none of those players spent as much time in the Bahamas as the Oklahoma Sooners star did.

Thompson was born there, but moved to Florida when he was a child and Fox was not born there, but lived there for a few years during middle school and high school. 

Hield is true to his roots and lived there until his junior year of high school, when he moved to Wichita, Kansas.


Despite not gracing the hardwood of the NBA yet, Hield has already represented the Bahamas national team.

In 2014, he competed in the Centrobasket, which is the regional basketball championship of FIBA Americas for the Central American and Caribbean subzone.

He averaged a tournament-leading 19.8 points per game and a team-high 6.0 rebounds.


If there is one reason why Buddy will thrive in the current climate of the NBA, it's because of his ability to shoot the three.

Simply put, he can score from anywhere on the court and commands attention at all times on the perimeter much like Steph Curry (no I am not comparing him to Curry).

Per DraftExpress, his 147 3-pointers made (in 37 games) was by far the highest mark among all college players this year, and is tied for the highest total mark any college basketball player has achieved since Curry made 162 back in 2008.

It isn't just the number of threes he makes that's impressive, it's the efficiency with which he makes them. Hield shot 46 percent from downtown in college.

The NBA's three-point line may be longer than the college version but that shouldn't deter the University of Oklahoma product as he regularly pulled up from NBA range anyway. Expect him to be lighting it up from beyond the arc next season.

Kobe Bryant is a fan

On March 24, when Buddy put up 37 points in a Sweet Sixteen victory over Texas A&M, the youngster and the Black Mamba shared a special embrace.

Bryant was present at the game and shook hands with the budding star (no pun intended) who was certainly moved by the gesture from one of the game's true greats and said his performance was inspired by the attendance of one of his idols.

"As soon as I saw Kobe was here, I knew I had to put on a show. Blame it on Kobe," Hield said.

Kobe gave the 22-year-old a glowing endorsement saying he's a "great player" and looked "phenomenal".

The relationship between the two has even moved on since then as Hield has spent time working out with the five-time champion prior to the draft and has received some on-court tutoring.

The 2016 draft takes place on 23 June and it will certainly be interesting to see which team will benefit from the promising Hield.

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