Thursday evening, in the midst of all the baseball and Olympics’ talk, the NBA Draft snuck in to get into the sports discussions of the day. It was night full of picks, trades, futures being formed, and so much more. One big story from the evening was Chicago Bulls selection of Ayo Dosunmu with their 38th overall pick.
Dosunmu is Chicago. Ayo Dosunmu started his high school hooping years at Westinghouse College Prep. He would play just one season there before finishing up his last three years of high school at Morgan Park for head coach Nick Irvin. During his time at Westinghouse, he helped his team become conference champs and had several forty-point performances. It was his time at Morgan Park where he began to become a household name around the Chicagoland area.
During his junior and senior year, he and his Morgan Park teammates won back-to-back IHSA Class 3A state titles. His senior year he averaged 25.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 2.7 steals. Over the final few months of high school, Dosunmu was showered with accolade both local and national.
If he wasn’t playing for Morgan Park and Nick Irvin, he could be found playing for the Mac Irvin Fire AAU program. That team was coached by another Irving- Mike Irvin. The Irvin’s are well known family in the Illinois hoops community and Ayo is practically in the same boat.
He decided to stay home and change the culture of the University of Illinois and its’ basketball program. In three years, he brought them back to the top of the NCAA landscape and even helped the Illini win the conference and earn a number one seed in the NCAA tournament- which was their first appearance since 2013. Although they, did win a championship during Ayo’s three seasons, he sure did leave his mark.
Dosunmu improved his game in almost every stat category during each season at Illinois. During his final year, he averaged201. points on 48.8 percent shooting (including 39 percent from three) with 6.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 1.1 steals in 35.1 minutes per game over 28 games. That season, had career-highs in field goal percentage, three-point shooting percentage, points, offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, total rebounds, and assists. He played 90 games across his three years in Champaign and averaged 16.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Some accolade include…
- Consensus first-team All-American (2021)
- Bob Cousy Award (2021)
- 2× First-team All-Big Ten – Media (2020, 2021)
- First-team All-Big Ten – Coaches (2021)
- Second-team All-Big Ten – Coaches (2020)
- Big Ten All-Freshman Team (2019)
- Big Ten Tournament MOP (2021)
He decided to leave U of I to pursue his NBA dreams following the season. He worked out with several teams including the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rocket, Washington Wizards, and a few others.
Thursday, July 29, 2021, the Chicago Bulls used their only pick of the draft to pick the hometown kid. Something the Bulls are familiar doing. In 2008, the Chicago Bulls selected Simeon’s Derrick Rose with the first overall pick. Ayo was never supposed to be there which made it a no-brainer to take him.
Draft Night Photos and Videos
Photo: @PatHuntJr on Twitter.