Prospects Feeling Emotions as Draft Approaches

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NEW YORK – New York City is known around the world as The City Where Dreams Come True.

That moniker will never be more accurate than on Thursday night, when 60 prospects will accomplish their lifelong dream of becoming an NBA basketball player.

The 2015 NBA Draft is more than a day away from tipping off, yet emotions have already begun to overtake the majority of these young men who are waiting to hear their name called up to the Barclays Center stage.

“I’m already anxious 24 hours before it happens,” said Kentucky big man Trey Lyles. “There’s no telling (what I’ll feel) once that happens.”

Arkansas big man Bobby Portis added, “Right now it’s even crazy being in this room, being interviewed by a hundred people. So it’s kind of crazy just to be here.”

Just wait until Thursday night, Bobby. The Barclays Center will be packed with thousands of fans, cheering, booing and everything between. The energy in the building will undoubtedly be palpable.

The emotions? They’ll be on another level. They’ll be visible.

These young men and their families have all waited more than 18 years for Thursday night to arrive. They will finally be able to celebrate their dreams becoming reality, and they’ll do so in each other’s arms.

“I brought my mom, my three little brothers, and my two coaches from third grade that knew me since Day 1,” Portis told Celtics.com. “I feel like that’s my core bunch of people that I really trust and has my best interests at heart.”

Each player seems to be surrounded by a similar circle. Myles Turner, who will also be accompanied Thursday night by family members, believes that the feelings of his family members will be very different than his own once his Draft moment arrives.

“I think they’ll be relieved,” he said. “Just to see that all of my hard work – bang, it’s there. It’s paid off to the extent that it has and I’m ready to make this next transition in my career.”

Seven prospects will have the unique opportunity to celebrate not only with their friends and family members, but also with their college teammates. The Kentucky Wildcats have seven players in this year’s Draft, including Karl-Anthony Towns, who is considered by many to be the top overall prospect.

Towns and his Wildcat teammates reiterated Wednesday afternoon that they have helped each other throughout the Draft process. They’ve leaned on one another from the beginning, and on Thursday, they’ll be able to hug each other at the end as they celebrate their incredible accomplishments.

There is only one NBA Draft each year, but there are 60 individual stories.

These are dreams coming true, right before our very eyes.

When each instance takes place Thursday night?

That, as Towns eloquently stated, “is going to be a surreal moment.”