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Hard Work Pays Off as Boston Celtics Draft Baylor Scheierman

by Jun 27, 2024Creighton Baseball

Creighton Bluejays guard Baylor Scheierman
Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Baylor Scheierman gathered together at Let It Fly Sports Bar in downtown Omaha with family, friends, teammates and Creighton supporters on Wednesday night for the first round of the 2024 NBA Draft.

After a strong pre-draft process, the Aurora product expected to hear his name called in the first 30 picks. For more than three hours, Scheierman watched other players go off the board. Once the draft hit the 20s, the tension at Let It Fly began to rise. At one point, assembled media frantically raised their cameras as Scheierman’s phone went off, only to learn it was teammate Francisco Farabello FaceTiming Scheierman rather than an NBA general manager or coach.

New York and Minnesota were teams in the late 20s connected to Scheierman leading up to the draft, but they both went in a different direction. Phoenix went with Virginia’s Ryan Dunn at 28, then Utah took USC’s Isaiah Collier at 29.

That left just one pick remaining on day one, and at that point the phone call finally came — from the newly-crowned champion Boston Celtics.

“It all happened so quick, honestly,” Scheierman said. “I had a great pre-draft process and so I was very confident coming into tonight. I was very at peace with whatever might happen. It was getting towards the end of the round obviously and I was at peace with the fact that I might go in the second round, and as Mac and I were talking about that, he gets the call and was like, ‘You gotta go.’ And so then it just all happened and I don’t know how I reacted, but I was kind of just shocked honestly. Obviously my mom and everybody started crying so, but it’s just an unbelievable experience.”

Scheierman called it an “unreal feeling” to see his name called and said he tried to hold it together while his mom and aunts let the tears fall.

Wednesday night was a storybook ending to his Creighton career. Scheierman first tested the NBA waters after his junior season at South Dakota State before deciding to return to college basketball to prove himself at a higher level as a transfer. He received interest from some of the biggest brands in college basketball but ultimately decided to return to his home state to play for Greg McDermott at Creighton.

Scheierman had a solid first season as a Bluejay, averaging 12.8 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists while shooting 36.4% from 3 as a starter on the first Elite Eight team in Creighton program history. He could have declared for the draft again but instead opted to return to Creighton for a fifth season of basketball and use the spring and summer to work on his body and game rather than to seek NBA feedback.

The result was an All-American season as he averaged 18.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.9 assists while shooting 44.8% from the field (38.1% from 3) and 87.6% from the free-throw line — enough to win over the Celtics front office.

“It was awesome,” McDermott told Hurrdat Sports. “I’m just so proud of him and the way he’s carried himself the last two years and his commitment to daily improvement. He’s lived that the last two years and what he did in the offseason last year to take his game to another level was incredible to see and he reaped the benefits of that tonight, because he he’s really worked for this. Pretty emotional night, it was fun to be part of and fun to share with him.”

Scheierman said his two years as a Bluejay “meant everything” in his journey to draft day.

“I don’t think I am where I am right now without Creighton, without Coach McDermott,” Scheierman said. “He believed in me to bring me in from the transfer portal and kind of just allow me to go in and play how I how I play and play free and put me in positions to be successful. Coach Mac and I have gone from a coach-player relationship to a father-son type relationship. So I’m forever grateful for Creighton.”

Scheierman and his agent received good feedback from the Celtics during the pre-draft process, but Boston didn’t think he’d be available at 30. But he was, so Brad Stevens and the 2024 NBA champions made the call.

“They really liked my ability to just understand the game, my IQ and my versatility of being able to dribble, pass and shoot and space the floor,” Scheierman said. “Obviously they already have a lot of great talent there and my ability to kind of just come in and impact the game in different ways … They’re a storied franchise and they’re very picky about who they bring into the organization. And so for me to be the one that they feel comfortable to pick, it means a lot and I’m just excited to get to work.”

McDermott sees Boston as a great landing spot for the 6-foot-7 sharpshooter with terrific court vision.

“Boston is about guys that compete and understand how to play and that can shoot the basketball, and Baylor checks all those boxes,” McDermott said. “They’ll love him there and they’ve done their homework. Brad Stevens is personal friend of mine and they know what they’re getting in Baylor and I think it’ll be a seamless fit for that roster.”

The second floor at Let It Fly was packed with people, including current and former coaches and teammates, family, friends and numerous others that have been part of Scheierman’s journey, and when NBA commissioner Adam Silver read his name, they all erupted in applause as they shared in his special moment.

“That’s what it’s all about, relationships,” Scheierman said. “That’s what life’s about, and obviously, I feel like I have a great group of people behind me, supporting me and to have everybody show out like they did, it just means a lot.”

Scheierman’s first opportunity to suit up in Boston green and white will be at the NBA Las Vegas Summer League next month.

“I’m just super grateful,” Scheierman said. “I know how much time I put into get here and I’m just I’m excited to get to work.”

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