MEMPHIS, Tenn. — On Thursday night, Tennessee guard Kennedy Chandler will be selected in the NBA Draft, fulfilling his dream to play professionally in the league.
Kennedy Chandler's dad, Kylan, says his son started dribbling a basketball at 5 years old. When he was around 10 or 11 years old, he told his father he was going to play in the NBA.
"He said, 'I'm going to the league,'" Kylan said. "I said, 'What league?' He said, 'I'm going to the NBA.' I said, 'Oh okay, well that's fine, but you still need to have a plan B and things like that.' He said, 'Yeah I understand what you're saying, but I'm telling you I'm going. I don't need a plan B.'"
Kennedy is at this point now, hours away from being selected in the draft, on the doorstep of achieving his dream.
Kennedy's dad said playing at Tennessee under head coach Rick Barnes helped his son grow in a lot of ways, making him NBA-ready.
"So he went to his NBA workouts and it was already understood what he needed to, how he needed to play defense against bigger guards and things of that nature," he said. "But going to Tennessee was a blessing and really helped him for the next level."
Kennedy's mom and dad recently looked back on all of Kennedy's accomplishments like back-to-back Mr. Basketball awards, McDonald's All-American honors and All-SEC honors. The list goes on and on.
They said they're proud of everything he has accomplished and what he might accomplish next.
Kylan says Kennedy has been counting down the hours from days ago. He said he's been waiting until the NBA Draft, counting down to his dad ever since he returned home from pre-draft workouts with eleven different teams.
"He's just been saying, 'Hey, 24 more hours.' Or the other day he told me 72 hours, then 48 hours, then 24 hours. He's counting it down, he's very excited and he's ready to go," he said.
His family said they couldn't be happier for their son. They're just waiting to hear his name called.
"I know my wife will get emotional, my family will get emotional, including me," he said. "We're definitely very excited for him."