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It’s official: Childs, Merrill to get NBA Draft Combine invites — if there is a combine

Former BYU, USU stars are hoping to be picked in October NBA Draft.

SHARE It’s official: Childs, Merrill to get NBA Draft Combine invites — if there is a combine
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Brigham Young Cougars forward Yoeli Childs (23) drives past St. Mary’s Gaels center Jock Perry (5) during the BYU and Saint Mary’s WCC semifinal game at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on Monday, March 9, 2020.

Steve Griffin, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Two local players have been invited to participate in the 2020 NBA Draft Combine. 

Former BYU star Yoeli Childs and former Utah State star Sam Merrill are among a list of 60-70 players that have received invitations to the pre-draft workouts. However, it’s uncertain if the combine will take place due to the coronavirus pandemic. The two-round NBA draft is scheduled for Oct. 16. 

The draft was originally scheduled for June 25 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn but was postponed.  

Childs averaged 22.2 points and nine rebounds per game last season. He also became the only Cougars player in school history to record at least 2,000 points (2,031) and 1,000 rebounds (1,053) in a career. Childs finished No. 6 all-time at BYU in scoring and No. 1 in rebounding.

“Right now, I’m very focused on the NBA. The overseas options will always be there. I’ve been blessed and I’m lucky enough to be in that position to say that,” Childs told the Deseret News recently. “I’m very focused on my dream of playing in the NBA right now. Whether that’s getting drafted, a guaranteed contract, a two-way, whatever it may be, my focus right now is doing everything I can to staying as close as I can to being an NBA player.”

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Utah State’s Sam Merrill plays against San Diego State during an NCAA college basketball game for the Mountain West Conference men’s tournament championship Saturday, March 7, 2020, in Las Vegas.

Isaac Brekken, AP

Merrill, the 2019 Mountain West Conference Player of the Year, averaged 19.7 points and 3.9 assists and 4.1 rebounds last season. Merrill shot 46% from the floor and 41% from 3-point range. 

In March, he led the Aggies to a second straight Mountain West Tournament championship and earned tournament MVP honors. He scored 27 points in a 59-56 victory over San Diego State in the championship game, including the game-winner 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds left. 

Merrill has said he’s eager to get a shot at the NBA. 

“I know that nothing’s a given and I’m going to have to really go out there and prove to NBA teams that I belong, so while it was nice to help myself and get onto people’s radar, I know there’s obviously still so much left to be done,” he said.