Ayo Dosunmu had to wait a while for his moment at Thursday's NBA Draft.
In fact, 38 picks, and nearly four hours, elapsed before the Illinois point guard heard his name called.
But when he did, the payoff delivered. The Chicago Bulls selected Dosunmu with their second-round choice, sending the Chicago native's draft party into a frenzy:
That scene underscores the sentimental significance of Dosunmu's selection. The now 21-year-old grew up in the city and attended Morgan Park High School before blossoming into a collegiate star at the University of Illinois.
In 2020-21, his junior year, he posted career-best averages in points (20.1), rebounds (6.3) and assists (5.3) per game while shooting career-best percentages from the field (48.8) and 3-point range (39). He led the Illini to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and accrued a number of individual accolades, including a consensus first-team All-American nod and Bob Cousy Award.
Soon, the work begins to make Dosunmu's NBA dreams a lucrative reality. The Bulls will be counting on that.
But for one night, Dosunmu and those close to him basked in a special moment.