Yakima native MarJon Beauchamp drafted by Milwaukee in the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft

YAKIMA, Wash. — In hopes of reconnecting with his love of the game, MarJon Beauchamp returned to his hometown last year and played for the Yakima Valley Community College men’s basketball team. One year removed from his JuCo stint, Beauchamp was selected in the first round of the NBA Draft.

Through tears and raw emotion, Beauchamp stepped on stage at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and embraced NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. The 21-year-old was picked 24th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks—the team led by superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo that won last year’s NBA Finals.

“I’m just happy god never gave up on me,” Beauchamp said through tears on ABC’s broadcast of the draft. “Everything I had to go through—all the adversity and no one believing in me—this is special.”

MarJon, who was born and raised in Yakima, has deep family roots in Eastern Washington. His grandfather, Henry Beauchamp, was the first African-American Mayor of the City of Yakima, and his father Jon played basketball for Eastern Washington University.

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Beauchamp bounced around high schools in King County with the hope of drawing interest for a college scholarship. It never materialized for Beauchamp, who experienced great hardship throughout his life that led him to question whether there was a future for him in basketball.

Through all of the doubts, he pushed through and averaged 29.3 points per game for YVC before joining the G League Ignite program meant to provide young talent with an alternative route to the NBA besides college basketball.

With his unique driving ability and defensive capabilities, Beauchamp stood out among a talented team in the NBA’s developmental league. The experience allowed him to showcase his ability to play off of others while still commanding a scoring load and impacting the game in other ways. Between the rebounding, hustle and commitment to influencing the game on both sides of the court, Beauchamp established himself as a first-round NBA prospect.

Next up for MarJon is the NBA Summer League, where young talent and players on the fringe of rosters visit Las Vegas to compete in a brief series of exhibitions before clashing in a tournament. The first year of his guaranteed NBA contract is expected to begin near $2.4 million.

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