- Last Updated: 12:01 PM, June 30, 2012
- Posted: 1:02 AM, June 30, 2012
When Tyshawn Taylor learned he was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 41st overall pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft, he was thrilled to achieve his dream of reaching the NBA.
But his excitement reached another level when the Hoboken native and former star under Bob Hurley at St. Anthony High School in Jersey City found out he had been dealt to the Brooklyn Nets.
“I had no clue,” Taylor said on a conference call yesterday. “I thought I was going to Portland. Then, after I got squeezed by my mom for 10 minutes, after she hugged me, I turned around and saw that I was going to Brooklyn and I literally jumped from where I was sitting and ran out of the building.
“I was a little more excited about that.”
Taylor spent the past four seasons playing for Kansas, helping lead the Jayhawks to the national championship game this past season alongside No. 5 overall pick Thomas Robinson and under coach Bill Self.
Now Taylor will come to Brooklyn, where the Nets hope he will be backing up point guard Deron Williams, whom Self recruited to Illinois and coached for a year before leaving for Kansas.
“Coach Self told us a lot of stories about Deron Williams,” Taylor said. “He told us he was the best guard he ever coached. He’s tough, and Coach Self loved coaching him and always talked good about him.”
After getting Taylor, Nets general manager Billy King said he and coach Avery Johnson had talked about getting a point guard they could groom for some time. Taylor said he was excited about the prospect of learning from Johnson, a championship-winning point guard as a player, and Williams — assuming he re-signs with the Nets after free agency begins at 12:01 a.m. tomorrow.
“Well, I love the fact that they believe in me,” said Taylor, who was a third-team All American and first-team All-Big 12 selection last season as a senior at Kansas, where he graduated earlier this spring with a degree in communications. “I appreciate the fact that they gave me the opportunity, so I’m going to take full advantage.
“I think I’m in a really good situation, behind a really good point guard and coached by a great guard in Coach Johnson, who had his time in the league and was really good at what he did. To be able to sit back and learn from these guys will be a great teaching experience for me, and hopefully prepares me well for this league.”Follow @NYPostsports