Preseason Profile | Haywood Highsmith

by Lauren Rosen

After splitting time with the 76ers and Delaware Blue Coats during his rookie campaign, Haywood Highsmith rejoined the squad this summer hungry for opportunity.

As exhibition play draws to a close, here’s more on the Baltimore native.

What to Watch For

On the media day podium, Highsmith took time to reflect.

“Last year I was in a G-League training camp, now I’m in an NBA training camp. So I’m taking the right step in the right direction,” the 22-year-old said.

Highsmith has already defeated some steep odds in his single season of pro basketball. After playing four seasons at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia, Highsmith joined the Blue Coats roster for 2018-19.

During his time in Delaware, Highsmith averaged 12.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game. 

“[Playing in the G League is] definitely a grind. It’s a great league, it’s not an easy league to play in,” Highsmith said.

In January, Highsmith’s life changed entirely when he got his first taste of NBA action, joining Milwaukee’s Jaylen Morris as the only active players who played college ball exclusively at Division II institutions.

Highsmith’s first few games in the NBA made a lasting impression.

“I love Philly, I love the fans, love everybody,” Highsmith said. I’m grateful for the Sixers giving me this opportunity.”

Following his rookie season, Highsmith joined the Sixers in Las Vegas for Summer League, where he averaged 7.25 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in 20 minutes of play.

Now, as a member of the preseason roster, there’s been no shortage of talented veterans for Highsmith to learn from. He’s jumped at every opportunity to discover new parts of the game.

“Al Horford… A guy like that, you can just learn things from -- little things that can help me in my career going forward,” Highsmith said.

With his existing work ethic and a role model like Horford, the possibilities for Highsmith will continue to grow.

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