Future Watch: Deandre Ayton Rookie Basketball Cards, Suns
Deandre Ayton was born in Nassau, Bahamas in 1998. By the age of 12, he was already 6’5” and training to become a basketball player. He would eventually relocate to play in San Diego for Balboa City High School. In his sophomore season, he averaged 21 points, 16 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per game. After his sophomore year, he moved to Phoenix to finish out his high school career. As a junior playing for Hillcrest Prep Academy, he averaged 29.2 points, 16.7 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per game.
Hillcrest earned a spot among national high school basketball rankings lists for Ayton’s senior season. He helped lead the team to a 33-6 record and averaged 29.2 points, 16.7 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per game. Scout.com, Rivals.com and ESPN all ranked Ayton as the top player in the 2017 recruiting class. After narrowing his list of school choices to Arizona, Kansas and Kentucky, Ayton elected to play for the Arizona Wildcats in September of 2016.
Ayton solidified himself as a top-tier NBA prospect in his one year with the Wildcats. He started and played in 35 games, averaging 20.1 points, 11.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.9 blocks per game. In 34 games (not counting Arizona’s first-round loss in the NCAA Tournament) he recorded 17 20-point games and 23 double-doubles. On January 20th, 2018 he blocked six shots in a game against Stanford tying him for the most in Arizona freshman single game history. At the end of the regular season, Ayton was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year and Pac-12 Freshman of the Year. He also won the Karl Malone award, and was named a first-team All American.
It was a foregone conclusion that Ayton would be a one-and-done player at the NCAA level when he initially committed to Arizona. He confirmed that when he announced himself eligible for the 2018 NBA draft at the end of his freshman season with the Wildcats. Heading into the draft, Ayton was seen as a surefire top-3 selection with many draftniks penciling him in as the top pick. On draft night, the Phoenix Suns took Deandre Ayton with the number one overall pick.
Ayton made his NBA preseason debut on Monday, October 2nd. In the game, he lit up the Sacramento Kings for 24 points, 10 rebounds, a steal and three blocks in 30 minutes. There is no question Ayton will make an impact on the NBA as a rookie. He has the size, offensive ability and position on the Suns roster to run away with this season’s Rookie of the Year award. He’s a lock for 30 minutes a night, and there’s a very good chance he averages close to a double-double over the course of the season. Suns fans are already clamoring to collect Ayton’s rookie cards, and the demand will grow as the season progresses.
You can find rookie cards of Deandre Ayton in 2018 Panini Contenders Draft Picks Collegiate Basketball. He’ll also appear in his Suns uniform in 2018-19 Certified and 2018-19 Hoops. At the rookie showcase this summer, Ayton drew a highly entertaining sketch card depicting him dunking on Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid. Look for the card in an upcoming release from Panini America.
Future Watch: Deandre Ayton Rookie Basketball Cards, Suns – Stats
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