Bucks rookie Beauchamp overcomes adversity to reach NBA

MILWAUKEE (AP) — There was a period of homelessness growing up. A constant passage from one high school to another. The cancellation of a draft NBA training program due to the pandemic. A year to prove himself with a G League development team.

MarJon Beauchamp’s journey to the NBA was strewn with pitfalls, he wondered if he would even have the opportunity to get here. At one point, after missing the training schedule, Beauchamp faced depression and felt his chances were exhausted.

“There was a time when I didn’t really believe in myself,” Beauchamp told the media on Tuesday. “I had no opportunities and I wanted to be in the league so badly.”

He cried on draft night when the Milwaukee Bucks took him with the 24th overall pick and received welcome text messages from Bucks stars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. But it wasn’t until he arrived in Milwaukee this week, saw his picture on a billboard and met with coaches and team staff that he finally knew. that “it becomes real”.

“I think all the adversity has prepared me for this moment,” Beauchamp said. “The obstacles I had to go through to get here were a little different from everyone. Going through adversity made me who I am today and made me more grateful for my opportunities. I don’t want to lose this opportunity.”

General manager Jon Horst said he was glad Beauchamp stayed on the board when the Bucks’ pick came up.

“It’s an incredible opportunity for us when you look at the player and the person…and the things he’s overcome in his life to get to where he is,” Horst said. “We think he’ll be someone who is a perfect fit for us, both basketball-wise and personality-wise and character-wise.”

Beauchamp’s humility impressed Mike Budenholzer, but the Bucks coach stressed Beauchamp will need to earn a roster spot and playing time with a team that won the NBA title in 2021, its first in 50 years.

“He’s going to have to come and win whatever he gets,” Budenholzer said.

The chance to play with a championship-caliber team thrilled Beauchamp about landing in Milwaukee.

“It’s a blessing to be in a winning situation and with a winning team because I feel like a winner,” he said. “I feel like I can thrive with this team.”

Beauchamp sees himself first and foremost as someone with “young energy” who can contribute immediately on defense while providing outside shots on offense, a sore spot for the Bucks in last season’s playoffs.

“I know there’s a lot of attention on Giannis and I feel like I can knock that 3-ball down in the corner,” he said.

Beauchamp, who credits his grandmother for keeping him focused through tough times, said he continues to be driven by a goal he set for himself some time ago, a goal that reflects the obstacles he faces.

“My goal is to give my mother a home one day,” Beauchamp said.


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