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ESPN’s 2019 NBA Draft Storytelling: In depth with Morant, Austin and Porter proves no basketball journey is the same

In anticipation of the June 20 NBA Draft, ESPN travelled to Seattle, South Carolina and even China to tell compelling tales

This Sunday on E:60 (9 a.m. ET, ESPN) top NBA Draft prospect Ja Morant sits down with reporter Clinton Yates to tell Morant’s unique story just days before the NBA Draft on June 20 (coverage on ESPN all week).

From Under-Recruited To NBA Draft: 5 Others Like Ja

ESPN basketball analyst Paul Biancardi writes about five NBA Draft prospects who were beneath the college recruiting radar. Watch ESPN’s live 2019 NBA Draft coverage Thursday, June 20, at 7 p.m. ET.

Yates traveled to the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., where Morant was training and Sumter County, S.C., where Morant went to high school (Crestwood) for the profile.

In the video below Yates shares one of his favorite stories from his time spent in Sumter County.

Emily Archacki and Molly Mita produced the video below.

E:60 reporter Lisa Salters Travels To China To Interview Isaiah Austin

E:60 reporter Lisa Salters’ travels were a bit different than co-worker Clinton Yates’.

He traveled to South Carolina. She flew across the globe to Nanjing, China where former Baylor star Isaiah Austin is currently playing professional basketball. Austin’s NBA dreams were crushed when a rare heart disorder prevented him from playing in the NBA but in China he risks his life for the game.

“He [Isaiah] is so happy to be playing basketball. He could be playing on the moon,” Salters said. “The purity of his love for the game is both impressive and inspiring. When preparing for the piece I thought, ‘if this were my kid he wouldn’t be playing.’ But after spending several months with him and seeing what this means to him, my perspective changed.”

SC Featured: Kevin Porter Jr.

For Father’s Day, SportsCenter “SC Featured” profiles NBA Draft prospect Kevin Porter Jr., a potential lottery pick playing to represent his late father, Kevin Porter Sr., who was murdered in a dangerous area of their Seattle hometown when Kevin Jr. was four.

Reporter Tom Rinaldi follows Kevin Jr.’s journey from making the conscious decision to play for the same high school his father did through the ups and downs at his shortened season at USC as he develops a maturity beyond his 19 years.

The feature debuts in the 8 a.m. ET hour of SportsCenter on Saturday and re-airs throughout the weekend.

– Andy Hall

– Molly Mita

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