Mary Altaffer / AP
NEW YORK — Only eight years after playing basketball for the first time, Deandre Ayton is the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.
The Phoenix Suns made the long-expected move official on Thursday night, taking the Arizona center with the top overall pick. He’s the first Arizona player to go No. 1 in the draft; Mike Bibby was No. 2 in 1998 and Derrick Williams was No. 2 in 2011.
It’s history for Ayton, and history for his homeland as well.
Ayton is just the second player born in the Bahamas to go No. 1, joining Mychal Thompson — the top pick in the 1978 draft by the Portland Trail Blazers.
The 7-foot-1 Ayton, who didn’t start playing basketball until he was 12, averaged 20.1 points and 11.6 rebounds per game in his lone college season. He’s the ninth consecutive one-and-done player to be taken No. 1 overall.
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