Updated NBA Draft 2012 Picks, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, alone, stepped from his car last June at the cemetery in Camden. He could not leave for Kentucky the next day until he had made a promise.He spotted the pond, and, moving across the grassy field of headstones and burial plots, he found Darrin Kidd’s gravestone, covered with flowers. He sat on the grass and talked to his uncle. He spoke of his excitement about starting his college career with the Kentucky Wildcats. He told him how badly he missed him.
Rest easy about your son, Deante, he told his uncle. He would safeguard him as his uncle had done for him, when he lost his own father many years ago.
The year has passed quickly.
At Kentucky, Kidd-Gilchrist became one of the nation’s top players. Deante, 12 years old, leapt in shared victory when the Wildcats won the national title this past spring. His bedroom walls are covered with posters of his famous cousin.
Tonight, Kidd-Gilchrist, 18, not much older than a boy himself, will hear his name announced at the Prudential Center, likely to be one of the top five players selected in the 2012 NBA Draft. Deante will be by his side.
“I’m just here for him,” Kidd-Gilchrist said. “I understand a lot of things he’s going through. I have his back, all day, every day.”
A year after graduating from St. Patrick High School in Elizabeth, Kidd-Gilchrist will become the youngest player in the NBA. He will turn 19 on Sept. 26. (NJ)