Philly basketball fans may find themselves watching more Atlanta Hawks games next season.
This year’s NBA draft sent two standout players from the area — De’Andre Hunter and Cameron Reddish — to the same Eastern Conference squad.
Hunter, who grew up in Lawncrest, was the fourth overall pick. Reddish, a Norristown native, was the 10th. Both were selected as small forwards.
“It’s gonna be fun to watch. You got two really young, talented players going to a team full of young, talented players,” said Ryan Tozer, Hunter’s head coach at Friends’ Central, a private Quaker high school just outside the city.
It will also be new territory. Hunter and Reddish have a history of competing against each other — in high school and then again in college.
Reddish was a star shooting guard for Westtown, another private Quaker school that’s part of the Friends Schools League.
The pair also faced off while playing for teams in the NCAA’s Atlantic Coast Conference. Hunter suited up for the University of Virginia. Reddish competed for Duke University.
Now, they’ll share a locker room. Chuck Champion, Hunter’s teammate in high school, predicts the pair will play well together.
“They’re both great playmakers, and they can both score the heck out of the ball. And they can create for others very well. All those positive things really complement each other,” he said.
Aaron Hunter, De’Andre’s brother, agreed.
“I think their relationship will grow, a friendship will come along. And it’s gonna be a beautiful thing to watch them in Atlanta,” he said.
The NBA hasn’t released next year’s schedule yet, but the Philadelphia 76ers are in the same conference as the Hawks, so there’s a good possibility they’ll play each other during the season.
That may create a dilemma for some Sixers fans, but not Champion. He’ll be rooting for Hunter and Reddish — no question.
“You could have a favorite team, but if your family is playing on the team, you know, it’s a different story,” he said.
The NBA’s regular season kicks off in October.