Why one writer has ‘underrated’ BYU star Yoeli Childs projected as a second round NBA draft pick
Following a remarkable senior campaign that saw the 6-foot-8 forward overcome a nine-game suspension and a serious finger injury, the NBA draft has been moved from late June until October due to the coronavirus pandemic.
PROVO — Former BYU star Yoeli Childs has often stated that his dream is to play in the NBA.
After both his sophomore and junior seasons, Childs declared for the NBA draft before opting to return to Provo.
Now, following a remarkable senior campaign that saw the 6-foot-8 forward overcome a nine-game suspension and a serious finger injury, he’ll have to wait even longer for a shot at his dream.
“The general consensus is that due to uncertainty that surrounds the pre-draft process this offseason, Childs will be a riser due to the maturity he brings both on and off the court.” — Bryan Kalbrosky, on Yoeli Childs
The NBA draft has been moved from late June until October due to the coronavirus pandemic. The draft is set for Oct. 16 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn after the interrupted NBA season is completed.
In a recent mock draft conducted by therookiewire.usatoday.com, the 6-foot-8 Childs is projected to be selected by the Memphis Grizzlies with the 40th overall pick.
“Yoeli Childs, who had a workout with the Memphis Grizzlies when he tested the draft waters last year, was easily one of the most underrated players in college basketball,” wrote Bryan Kalbrosky. “He averaged 22.2 points and 9.0 rebounds per game while shooting a stunning 22 for 45 (48.9%) on his 3-pointers. Among all Division I players who had as many pick-and-pop possessions, he ranked second-best in efficiency. The general consensus is that due to uncertainty that surrounds the pre-draft process this offseason, Childs will be a riser due to the maturity he brings both on and off the court.”
Childs’ former BYU teammate, Elijah Bryant, who currently plays for Maccabi Tel Aviv, said he was impressed with Childs’ senior year and that Childs has prepared himself well for a chance at the NBA.
“I liked the way he handled adversity. He dealt every card this year and he handled it with class. He could have gone on a rant,” Bryant said. “He had everyone on his side for the suspension, like (ESPN analyst) Jay Bilas, everyone. He kept quiet, did his time and kept moving forward. He had the finger injury, too. If an NBA team gives him a chance, he’ll show why and they’ll get a steal in him. I’m hoping he gets his shot and I think he’ll do well with that.”
Last season, Childs became the only player in BYU history to record at least 2,000 points (2,031) and 1,000 rebounds (1,053) in his career. Childs finished No. 6 all time at BYU in scoring and in his final game, he became the Cougars’ all-time leading rebounder.
Earlier this spring, coach Mark Pope said numerous NBA teams had contacted him and his staff about Childs.
“I think he’s captured everybody’s attention and imagination. He’s done an unbelievable job moving himself from an undersized 5, the way the league perceives him, to a right-sized 4,” Pope said. “Not only did he guard ball screens so well and handle the ball in transition and run the ball so hard, but he shot 50% from the 3-point line — probably the best power forward shooting percentage in America last year. This Yoeli Childs is getting very, very well-deserved looks.”