After receiving just one Power 5 offer out of high school, former TCU basketball star Desmond Bane was drafted by the Boston Celtics with the 30th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft on Wednesday night.
Though the pick was officially made by Boston, Bane will begin his career in Memphis, as the Grizzlies traded for the 30th pick minutes before it was made.
The pick follows a long and storied career for Bane in the purple and white. TCU was his lone major offer coming out of Seton Catholic High School.
The Richmond, Indiana, native is the first TCU player to be selected in the NBA draft since Lee Nailon in 1999 and the first to be taken in the first round since Kurt Thomas in 1995.
Grizzlies superstar Ja Morant quickly congratulated Bane via Twitter.
The guard drew the eye of teams because of his elite shooting at any range and his active and tough nature on defense. As a senior, he led the Big 12 in three-point shooting percentage at 44.2%.
Bane only bolsters a Grizzlies squad that led the NBA during the 2019-2020 season with 38.3% shooting as a team from behind the arc.
On Tuesday, Bane talked with the media about what an NBA team was getting in him.
“[A] mature, consistent, hard-working player,” Bane said. “I feel like I bring value on both ends of the floor from knowing the game and how it’s played and the physical attributes that I have.”
Since TCU’s potential postseason appearance was cut short by the pandemic in March, Bane has been working out in Miami to prepare for the draft. Videos of him working out, including one of him hitting 43-straight three-pointers, circulated on Twitter and created hype around him prior to the draft.
Earlier this year, Bane cemented himself as a TCU legend when he accomplished things no one had before in the purple and white during his senior season.
His 141 games played, 84 games won and 249 three-pointers made are all school records. The guard also ranks among the best in TCU history in scoring (third with 1,784 points), field goals (third with 659) and three-point field goal percentage (fifth with 43.3%).
“I think it’s discipline,” Bane said of the biggest thing he learned at TCU. “Coach [Jamie] Dixon is really big on discipline and details. I came from a small private school and we played 2-3 zone and I got to TCU and it was a lot different to say the least. We’re having walk-throughs and if a guy is six inches out of place we’re going to do it again.”
Following the 2019-2020 season, Bane also became the first Horned Frog to be named First Team All-Big 12 and the first to be named First Team AP All-Big 12.
During conference play, Bane was a menace, averaging 16.6 points (second in Big 12), 6.4 rebounds (10th in Big 12) and 3.9 assists (seventh in Big 12). He was the only player in the conference to rank in the top ten of those three categories.
On Feb. 29, 2020, Bane helped deliver one of the most memorable TCU wins in recent history, scoring 23 points to lead TCU in an upset of No. 2 Baylor at Schollmaier Arena.
The game featured eight-straight points by Bane late in the second half, giving TCU a lead and putting social media into a pandemonium. Even Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green took to Twitter to recognize Bane.
The legacy of Desmond Bane at TCU started well before 2020, though. As a freshman, he played in all 39 games, showing major improvement throughout the season.
Despite having stars like Brandon Parrish, Kenrich Williams and Vladimir Brodzianksy around him, Bane was the hero for TCU in the 2017 Big 12 Quarterfinals. The guard hit three free throws with two seconds remaining to give the Frogs an 85-82 win over No. 1 Kansas, TCU’s first-ever win against a top-ranked opponent.
In his sophomore year, Bane continued to improve, seeing his point and rebound averages go up. He also led the Big 12 in three-point shooting percentage at 46.1%, helping lead TCU to their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1998.
The 2018-2019 season saw Bane start to become the elite scorer and leader he was in his senior year. After averaging 15.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists while leading TCU to the NIT semifinals, he made his All-Big 12 debut on the Second Team.
After out-performing expectations, Bane is headed to the NBA. His hard work, dedication and ability to ignore the doubts of others now go as lessons for young players like him who go overlooked out of high school.
“Let that fuel you. Let it fuel you,” Bane said as a message to prospects. “I remember reading newspaper articles of guys I felt like I was better than in the area and they were getting these Division I offers and things like that. Let it fuel you, let it motivate you, don’t let your confidence waver at all, and continue to work. Continue to be a good person and what’s meant to be will be.”