NEW YORK — UVA’s De’Andre Hunter was selected No. 4 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft on Thursday at Barclays Center and will play with the Atlanta Hawks.
Hunter’s former Virginia teammate, Ty Jerome, was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the No. 24 pick but will be traded to the Phoenix Suns, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The selections marked the first time the school has had two first-round picks in the same draft.
Early Friday morning, Hunter and Jerome's former teammate Kyle Guy was taken late in the second round by the New York Knicks. Because of a trade, he's going to the Sacramento Kings. The guard was the No. 55 pick.
Atlanta traded up to select Hunter in the hours before the draft, sending the New Orleans Pelicans the No. 8, No. 17 and No. 35 picks. In addition to the No. 4 selection, the Pelicans sent Solomon Hill, the No. 57 pick and a future second-round pick to the Hawks.
The Los Angeles Lakers, who traded the No. 4 pick to New Orleans in the recent Anthony Davis trade, made the pick because NBA trades cannot be officially completed until July 6.
The former Cavalier was one of 22 players sitting in the NBA Draft Green Room when his name was called. He was accompanied by his older brother, Aaron, and his mother, Priscilla, as well as UVA coach Tony Bennett.
Hunter averaged 15.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2 assists this past season for the Cavaliers, helping the team to the first NCAA tournament championship in program history.
The Philadelphia native showed steady growth throughout his college career after redshirting his first year. He earned ACC Sixth Man of the Year honors in 2017-18, then was named the NABC national defensive player of the year this past season.
Basketball prognosticators view Hunter as a 3-and-D wing in the NBA, given his 7-foot-2 wingspan and propensity for making clutch shots.
In Virginia’s national championship win over Texas Tech, Hunter hit 3-pointers to tie the game late in regulation and to put the Cavaliers ahead for good in overtime. He did so while shutting down Texas Tech guard Jarrett Culver in the extra period.
Hunter joins a Hawks team with a young core, spearheaded by Trae Young, who averaged 19.1 points and 8.1 assists last season as a rookie.
Forward John Collins and guard Kevin Huerter also are among Atlanta’s core.
Hunter will team up with former Virginia standout Justin Anderson, a three-year NBA veteran.
In a draft class full of players who left college after one season, the 21-year-old Hunter earned praise for his maturity and quiet confidence.
Hunter has attributed his success in part to the support of his family, and on Tuesday his brother gifted him a chain affixed to a pendant featuring a photo of De’Andre as an infant being held by his late father.
“He’s going to see it all with me,” Hunter said Wednesday.
On Thursday, he celebrated the fulfillment of his dream with his family.
Jerome averaged 13.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists this past season.
He was Virginia’s heartbeat, a fiery, emotional leader. Not recruited by most of the nation’s elite programs, Jerome turned himself into one of the ACC’s premier point guards, earning respect with his deft passing touch, vision and consistent long-range jumper.
Jerome’s playing time increased as his career wore on; he started in four games as a freshman and in all 34 of the team’s contests his sophomore year, the last of which ended in an embarrassing defeat. In losing to UMBC, Virginia became the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed in men’s tournament history.
Jerome steeled himself as the Wahoos’ anchor his junior season, taking it upon himself to ensure his teammates were in the right place mentally. Virginia escaped narrow margins in the Elite Eight, Final Four and national title game, with Jerome recording 16 points, eight assists and six rebounds in the championship against Texas Tech.
Hunter said he texted with Jerome and Guy earlier in the day.
“We were telling each other how excited we were for each other,” Hunter said. “We’ve been waiting for his moment for our entire lives.”