NBA Draft: Detroit Pistons No. 1 Pick Cade Cunningham Shares Life-Changing Moment With Daughter Riley
Cade Cunningham shared the biggest moment of his life with his parents — and his daughter
After being selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons, the 6-foot-7 point guard out of Oklahoma State kissed his young daughter Riley on the cheek before walking up to shake the hand of Commissioner Adam Silver.
“She’s my biggest motivation,” he told ESPN’s Malika Andrews. “She’s taught me way more than I could ever teach her but I think this is a good step for me.”
After Cunningham, the Houston Rockets selected shooting guard Jalen Green from the NBA G League Ignite at No. 2; the Cleveland Cavaliers chose USC 7-footer Evan Mobley at No. 3; the Toronto Raptors surprised many by drafting Florida State point guard Scottie Barnes, who also played for Boyle at Montverde, at No. 4; and the Orlando Magic then grabbed Gonzaga point guard Jalen Suggs at No. 5. Four of the five were college one-and-dones, while Green opted for the G League over college.
Oklahoma City Thunder shocked many by taking Australian point guard Josh Giddey at No. 6, while the Golden State Warriors selected former Patrick School and NY Rens star Jonathan Kuminga at No. 7. Michigan wing Franz Wagner was chosen at No. 8 by Orlando, Baylor guard Davion Mitchell went No. 9 to the Sacramento Kings and Stanford wing Ziaire Williams was taken at No. 10 by the New Orleans Pelicans.
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”This is an incredibly deep draft class, the best since 2003,” ESPN’s Jay Bilas said on air.
“There has not been a draft this deep since 2003 with LeBron, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, a ridiculously talented draft. This is comparable.”
“It’s still crazy to be in the moment,” he said. “I just really can’t explain the emotions, my family’s all here. To be able to spend this moment with them, it’s a blessing.
“I know my name was the first name called but I konw I didn’t do this by myself. I have a No. 1 pick family.”
Cunningham’s hometown is Arlington, Texas and when he played at Oklahoma State, Riley stayed in Texas, where she split time with her mother and Cade’s family. She was in attendance for about a dozen home and away games last season as her father became the Big 12 Player of the Year.
“Yeah, definitely,” he said. “I was away at Montverde when she was born and everything like that so finally being able to be a little bit closer definitely helped. I mean regardless, I know my parents would’ve did whatever it took to close that gap for me but yeah, being a four-hour drive away isn’t too bad for sure. It definitely isn’t too bad and I’ve been super lucky to be able to have her be at a bunch of games and things like that.”
He added after being drafted: “I just want to show [Riley] what hard work does. I want her to grow up and see what her dad has done for her and for her to see what hard work can do for you in life.”