Suns Center Deandre Ayton Invites Special Guest to Attend the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery
Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton surprised Gabriel Olvera, an 8-year-old Suns fan and Phoenix Children’s Hospital patient, with an invitation to join him on the trip of a lifetime to attend the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery in Chicago on Tuesday, May 14. The surprise took place this afternoon at Talking Stick Resort Arena, where Gabriel thought he was only being treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility.
The Suns learned about Gabriel’s story through the team’s community work with Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Gabriel was diagnosed with critical aortic stenosis with evolving hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) and at just 27 weeks, underwent successful heart surgery in the womb to save both ventricles and four chambers of his heart. He has had two open-heart surgeries to date and will eventually need the aortic valve and mitral valve replaced. Gabriel does not let his heart condition diminish his love of basketball or the Suns and has big dreams of one day becoming an NBA player.
Ayton, who was selected with the Suns’ first-ever No. 1 overall pick last season, will spend some quality time with Gabriel on the trip and will represent the Phoenix Suns at the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery. The Suns share the best odds in the Lottery to land the No. 1 overall pick with the New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers (14 percent) and have a 67 percent chance to secure a top five selection.
Suns fans can watch the live broadcast of the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery at multiple Cold Beers and Cheeseburgers locations throughout the Valley on Tuesday, May 14. Suns personalities and alumni will host each viewing party, and all fans in attendance will have the opportunity to win a number of Suns prize packages, including autographed merchandise, bobbleheads and more. RSVP at Suns.com/Lottery19.
The Suns own two selections in the 2019 NBA Draft, which will take place on Thursday, June 20 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.