Justinian Jessup in CU Buffs’ black-and-gold? It wasn’t meant to be.

There wasn’t a network camera trained on the living room sofa, the family gathered around in electric anticipation.

Wesley Jessup’s reaction wasn’t laid bare for the world to see. Instead, restless and needing to check some chores off his to-do list after watching just the first few picks of the NBA draft, he was in the parking lot of the nearby grocery store when a Facetime call arrived from his son, former Longmont High and Boise State star Justinian Jessup.

Wesley knew immediately what the call meant. His son had just become the first Longmont prep player ever to get selected in the NBA draft.

“As soon I as saw him FaceTiming me I knew right then he had been drafted. He said, ‘Dad, I got picked. Fifty-first pick to the Golden State Warriors.’ And I just couldn’t believe it,” Wesley Jessup said. “It was an unbelievable moment for me. He immediately called his mom, my wife, and told her. We were sad that we all couldn’t be celebrating with him. That’s the ideal of course, just to be all together sitting on the couch just like all those other draftees.”

The unique story of Jessup’s draft night mirrored the unique path of Jessup’s basketball journey. And his selection in Wednesday night’s draft offered a reminder that, despite a legacy of recruiting the best prospects the state of Colorado has to offer, the kid in the University of Colorado’s back yard never suited up for coach Tad Boyle and the CU Buffs.

“It was about the right timing,” Boyle said. “And yeah, hindsight is 20-20. I knew Justinian was a good player. I knew he had the potential to be a very good player and that’s what he turned into. Would I have rather had him in a Buffs uniform? Absolutely, looking in hindsight. But, here’s what I would say — he may not have had the career he had at Boise State if he comes to Colorado.

“That’s the thing I think sometimes people forget. Was he good enough to play at Colorado? Absolutely, and I knew that at the time. I knew he was good enough. Was it the right time? Did we have a need for him in that particular spot in that particular year? He had the kind of career he did because he went to a spot where he could play early in his career. Recruiting is not an exact science.”

Indeed, Boyle and the Buffs did recruit Jessup, who played for Boyle’s good friend Jeff Kloster at Longmont. But their vision had Jessup going to a prep school for one year first, and then joining the Buffs with the 2017 freshman class — which, at the time, had commits from wing prospects Tyler Bey and D’Shawn Schwartz.

Instead, recruited heavily by then-Boise State assistant and current Wyoming coach (and Centaurus alum) Jeff Linder, Jessup joined the Broncos and was an immediate starter. He ended his career as the Mountain West Conference’s all-time leader in made 3-pointers (325).

In retrospect, Jessup was unlikely to …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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