The 2024 Inaugural Draft came to an end, welcoming 8 talented young men to our team after an interesting sequence of moves were made by management. Overall though, we're happy about the haul, landing our targets for the long run. Our goal was not to lock ourselves into an identity early, trying to sway away from one-denominational players and instead use this year as a 'bridge season' into 2025; We can load up on more assets then and hopefully we'll be set up to compete for years. Now moving onto the task at hand, we would like to introduce our first ever draft class, a group we all in Miami are excited to see grow to the best of their abilities.
PG Jason Barnes (1st Rd, #1) Starting off we were able to land the 1st overall pick (and an 8th Rd pick), shipping off our 9th overall selection as well as our 4th Rd (56th), 6th Rd (88th) and 8th Rd (120th). A little speculation rose prior to the draft, as Sean Coleman was starting to gain traction as a favorite to be picked here but it clearly ended up being a smoke screen after we went ahead and grabbed the consensus no. 1 prospect in Jason Barnes.
Only one school, his alum Morgan State, offered Barnes' a D1 scholarship out of high school
Grew up in a trailer in Baltimore, MD with his mom and younger brother
Now he happens to be the first player ever to be drafted into NBAHC
Jason Barnes projects to be an elite two-way point guard with a big frame standing 6'4", 220lbs and his relentless nature that he brings to table every time he laces up...hell, even practice. Which made him the ideal cornerstone for our franchise and an easy choice at number one. Barnes will have to shoulder a huge load this year but we expect him to be able to handle it.
SG Tyson Jackson (1st Rd, #4) Now this trade shocked a lot of people after we already dumped picks to take Jason Barnes, we once again found ourselves dealing. Securing Tyson Jackson's services for the costly price of our 2nd and 3rd round picks, we were also able to get back a 7th rounder. We couldn't pass this deal down after being huge fans of Jackson's leading up to the draft, pulling the trigger immediately, we solidified our backcourt for a while.
Graduated from Colorado State with honors & a 4.0 GPA
First dunked in game in middle school, age 12 at an AAU tournament
His mother, Brielle Jackson was an All-American sprinter at Tennessee State ('95-'98)
We truly believe there wasn't one player in the draft who had scoring prowess like Tyson Jackson. He's smooth, can hit the j, drive it and finish with contact, hit shots when it matters, and the list goes on. He's just oozing with potential but as incredible talent as he is offensively, there's still a lot to be desired on defense which we thought would make him the perfect fit alongside Barnes who excels in that area of the game. They should feed off one another a lot this year, so don't be surprised to see Jackson putting up big scoring numbers as our starting two guard.
PF Jarius Brewer (5th Rd, #73) Jarius Brewer wasn't originally on our radar coming into the draft but after not having any picks in rounds 2-4, we had to focus on a need with our next available pick snagging up Brewer who we felt was like a steal considering what was left in the draft pool.
Began High School senior season as a 6' guard before shooting up 8 additional inches and becoming a big at Western Kentucky
Set WKU's program squat record at 425lbs, completing 3 full reps on video that later went viral, posted by the university's sport page
Jaruis hopes to open a gym of his own later down the road, maybe after his professional career
Jarius Brewer isn't expected to make a huge splash day one...still, a skill set like this, cannot be ignored. He moves like a guard that just happens to be stuck in a 6'8" 260lbs frame. He's quick, agile and loves to push the ball to the hoop. Due to his outstanding work ethic off the court and being almost automatic 10ft within the rim this was an easy choice and we can't wait to see Barnes' future favorite lob partner in action.
SF Ayden Montgomery (7th Rd, #100) We couldn't wait any longer to get a small forward after seeing a number of them drafted right before our pick, which forced us to take the best available here unlike our strategy suggested. Not a bad spot to be able to get our starting 3 and you can't be mad still having some value this late into the draft. Though, we will probably explore better options next year.
Welcomed his daughter earlier this summer, Daijah with fiancé, Lily Rose-Montogomery
Favorite player in any sport is Carolina's very own, Christian Skaggs
Chose a HBCU over offers from teams in the Power 5, saying he wanted to bring more attention to the historically black universities and lead by example
Probably one of the more gritty players in the draft, he doesn't do a lot of flashy things but we weren't looking for that when we took Ayden. We knew what we were getting, and that was a player who was willing to do anything to win like the dirty work down low, hustling for an out-of-bounds play, etc. He'll be a handful to teams that don't pay attention to his sneaky effectiveness.
C Marquise Jacobs (7th Rd, #105) Same reason as we drafted Ayden applies here, except we had him circled before the draft started. Happy to see him there, we took him using our second 7th rounder to fill our obvious need at center.
Majored in Computer Science, earning his bachelors before going pro, however he hopes to return to school one day in order to earn his masters
Raps as a hobby in his free time, plans on releasing a Hip-Hop album sometime next year
Roommates with Miami Dolphins Free Safety, Adam Carroll for close to 2 years during his time at Maryland
Marquise Jacobs has a knack for putting the ball through the net comparable to the Bucks' Eli Hart, although he isn't as good I feel that they have similar potential and we got him in the 7th! He'll likely start but will rotate with Blake Harrison because he's undersized and isn't the greatest of defenders. Luckily he makes up for it with his range/shooting.
C Blake Harrison (8th Rd, #128) Needing some interior defense and having Harrison as one of our targets in the later rounds, we scooped him up hoping he can fill that role. Some people seen it as a surprise with Trevor Randolph and Keith Evans III both available but Marquise and Blake makes for a good center duo and could see them being vital pieces for a championship team.
Plays Guitar, percussion and piano fluently
Has been a vegetarian for going on close to 5 years now, crediting his lifestyle change to his HS coach who happened to had played pro ball, overseas and pushed Harrison to pursue a NBAHC career
Has a German Shepard named 'Delgado' whom he travels everywhere with
Blake Harrison is in tremendous shape, bringing some well needed interior strength. He'll be expected to big a big part of their defense this upcoming inguinal season. We loved his attitude towards the game and high IQ, we think he'll develop into a fine basketball player.
SG Andrew Peterson (9th Rd, #137) We finally get a guy who can spread the floor with his shooting, prior we had been getting a fair share of guys who play in the paint, it was only right we got Peterson. Honestly, we didn't expect him to still be left on the board at this point of the draft which made it all the more sweeter.
Started playing organized basketball at 15yrs old (sophomore in HS) after being recruited for his height by the school's coach
Has completed Buffalo Wild Wings' Blazing Challenge twice
Listens to Eminem before every game in order to get his 'game face on'
Andrew Peterson is a lights out shooter who'll instantly gives us a boost off the bench. After basically becoming a professional basketball player in a matter of years, it's safe to assume he has loads of untapped potential which makes him even more exciting to watch for this year. He'll come in and give Tyson Jackson a break for now but could very well carve out a larger role later.
SF Tykeim Hicks (10th Rd, #152) With our last pick in the 2024 Inaugural Draft we took Tykeim Hicks, to add more depth at a position we're not sold on, which never hurts. He was the best available despite concerns about his conditioning which probably led to him dropping to us in the first place. Definitely was a sneaky good pick for us.
Father was shot and killed in Jacksonville, FL when he was 5yrs old, so he dedicates every one of his games to him
Self-proclaimed 'best 2K player in the world'; he enjoys playing video games when he's not playing ball
Favorite food to eat is seafood, sushi more specifically
Hicks probably won't be a star by any stretch of the imagination but that doesn't mean he won't have a solid career in the NBAHC. He has a nice shooting touch that will keep defenses honest but needs to work on his conditioning and build more muscle before he can play any real minutes. We'll see a fair share of him during the season and with expectations low, he could surprise everybody after sliding all the way until the 10th round.
Wrapping it up, I'm content with the group we have and look forward to putting in 110% effort this season, despite the concerns about tanking that isn't on our agenda. We plan on playing our hardest and where ever we end up, we'll run it with it, regardless of if it's deep in the playoffs or a bottom 3 team. Supporters should be excited, we put together a dynamic offense that will surely produce it's share of highlights and great moments. The city of Miami would like to once again thank the NBAHC's commission and execs. for making us one of the 16 cities to start this league, we'll be forever grateful and I promise to all the people who call themselves fans, that we will always put the best product on the floor that we can. Let's get this journey on the road together. #FeelTheHeat