SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento Kings fans got a glimpse of the future on Monday as the Kings’ draft picks were officially introduced.
The team’s top pick, Ben McLemore, and its second-round pick, Ray McCallum are the first additions to the roster since the new ownership group and head coach.
“I had just great people around me, and all my family members all played basketball,” said McLemore.
He was a college star at Kansas, but it wasn’t an easy road to Lawrence. he grew up in a family with six children and often never knew when his next meal would come.
But McLemore said his brothers and sisters are what kept him focused on and off the basketball court.
“My sister, they are a great support system. I call them my big three—they could get me through the day.”
For McCallum, he had plenty of scholarship offers, but chose to play for his father at the University of Detroit. He starred as a point guard, scoring 18 points and swiping nearly two steals per game in his final season.
“I couldn’t have had a tougher coach than my father,” he said. “Obviously he was always on top of me and making sure I was doing the right things.”
But in the end, it’s paid off. The Kings’ brass saw what these two went through as great character builders and decided they would make great additions to the team.
“We added two terrifically talented players, but just as important, if not more, two high-character guys who come from different backgrounds, but have great hearts,” said head coach Mike Malone.
And even though they have yet to suit up, they are set to be here for some time to come.
“What you are seeing here is the future of the Sacramento Kings,” said team owner Vivek Ranadive.
The first time the public will see them in a Kings uniform will be at the beginning of the NBA Summer League on July 13.