He is taking business and finance and some general studies, but do not try to bring that “What’s your toughest class?” question around Deandre Ayton. It is kind of a standard when speaking with college athletes and occasionally will produce some insight or humorous anecdotes. He rejects that approach with all the force and authority he exerts against any meager layup that wanders within his reach.
“The homework is a lot,” he allowed, “but there isn’t any class I’m struggling in.”
Ayton is one of those uncommonly gifted athletes the public will eagerly categorize as “one-and-done,” with all the same assumptions about talents, motivations and interests generally assigned to these young basketball players. It is reckless, though, to try to fit Ayton into any preconceived notions. He is not ordinary in any sense of the word. And he wants you to be clear on this.
Ayton is enrolled at Arizona not because he must park somewhere while waiting for next June’s NBA Draft. There were opportunities elsewhere to make money playing the game during that period, and so many suspected he would follow that course during the early stages of high school career that few top programs recruited him. He is at U of A because he wants to be, and also because so many figured he did not.
“One reason I’m here is just proving everybody wrong: That I’m not the person they think I am,” Ayton told Sporting News. “I wanted to be my mother’s first child to go to college.”
Arizona head coach Sean Miller was an assistant at Xavier when David West, the 2003 Oscar Robertson Trophy Winner, excelled for the Musketeers. Miller considers West a model of the student/athlete. And he insists Ayton is every bit as bright.
|IN THIS STORY:|
Deandre Ayton is the next NBA 'unicorn'
Sporting News - NCAAB | Jan 10