Sports Spectrum Weekly

Milwaukee Bucks select MarJon Beauchamp 24th in NBA draft: 'God never gave up on me'

MarJon Beauchamp broke down crying as he heard his name called 24th overall in the 2022 NBA Draft on Thursday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

The Milwaukee Bucks were the ones to finally recognize his basketball talent.

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When he was interviewed in the tearful moments following the selection, Beauchamp gave glory to God. “God never gave up on me,” he said. “Everything I had to go through — all the adversity and no one believing in me — it’s just special.”

At last, Beauchamp’s lifelong dream of being drafted into the NBA has become a reality. Yet it was a dream that, two years ago, looked as though it would never be anything more than that.

The 6-foot-6 Yakima, Washington, native was at one time a top-50 basketball prospect in the high school class of 2020. Offers from major college programs were pouring in left and right. Yet in the days before a college athlete could make money off of his or her name, image and likeness (NIL), Beauchamp chose instead to prepare for the 2021 NBA Draft by becoming one of the first athletes to join the Chameleon BX program.

The COVID-19 pandemic, however, threw a wrench into his plans. NBA coaches did not come to scout him, his access to practice gyms was limited and he was eventually forced to return home to Yakima, moving in with his mother to avoid homelessness. Bouts of depression and anxiety soon followed.

By his own admission, he nearly quit basketball for good. What’s more, he contracted the virus and noticed lingering respiratory limitations.

“That was my lowest point mentally,” he told the Washington Post last November. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do or what I was going to do. I felt like I wanted to give up.”

In what he considers the most difficult time of his life, Beauchamp turned to God as he earnestly prayed for guidance and endurance in faith.

“I feel like God got me through that,” he told Cleveland.com last week. “I started praying every day and having faith. I feel like He guided me through my hardest times.”

Eventually, God would lead Beauchamp to nearby Yakima Valley College, where he regained his comfort level on a basketball court. Most importantly he regained his love for the game. The NBA dream was still alive.

In August 2021, after one season at Yakima Valley in which he averaged 30.7 points and 10.5 rebounds per game, Beauchamp signed with the NBA’s G League Ignite program. In the G League, Beauchamp says he developed his defensive abilities and realized that he could be a defensive difference-maker on an NBA team. His season averages of 15.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game were good enough to launch him back into the NBA draft’s first-round projections.

In the days leading up to the 2022 NBA Draft, Beauchamp publicly thanked God in a Twitter post for never leaving him even at his lowest points.

Beauchamp has been known to tweet about God before.

One year later than anticipated and after seemingly numerous backward steps along the way, God has led Beauchamp to the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks. He’ll join stars like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday on a veteran team that won an NBA title in 2021.

First for Beauchamp, however, will be the NBA Summer League, which begins July 7. Milwaukee’s first game will come the following day against Brooklyn at 7 p.m. ET.

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