To overlook DeVante Jaylen Wilson’s name when talking about young rookies making it big in the NBA would be unfair. D.J completed his junior session for the Michigan Wolverines in 2016-17. This professional NBA player had also been the 17th overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft and was drafted to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Wilson was born on February 19, 1996, to Taniya Ballard. He was raised in Mount Shasta, California out of Sacramento. In the summer of 2012, DeVante suffered from a stress fracture in the fifth-lumbar vertebra because of which he was sidelined up until his junior session. As a result, he lost his initial chances to get recruited.
In November 2013, he also signed a letter of intent with Michigan. At the time it was believed that Wilson was the first player to sign up with a Big Ten Conference School from the area of Sacramento!
Wilson was a student at the Capital Christian School. In 2015 Wilson racked up a total of 12 points on a 5-6 shooting, helping Michigan defeat the Youngstown State with a margin of 59 points to spare. The 59 point difference was the second largest in Capital Christian School’s history. In January of 2016, Michigan saw its first win over a nationally-ranked opponent, Maryland, thanks to D.J blocking the shot twice.
Wilson had posted a career-high of 28 points and 14 rebounds against Iowa in an 83-86 overtime loss at the Big Ten Conference opener, followed by a 16 point team-high including a three-point field goal on February 9 against Minnesota. During the quarterfinals of the 2017 Big Ten Conference tournament, Michigan had been able to defeat Purdue because of Wilson’s staggering game-high 26 point performance not to leave out the 8 rebounds and 3 blocked shots! This then went on to become the second-highest scoring performance from a single game in the entire tournament.
On December 17, Wilson defended Blake Griffin’s 27-foot heave against the Pistons enabling a 107-104 win for the Bucks. He went on to post a career-high of 9 points and 10 rebounds against New Orleans Pelicans for the second consecutive game while surpassing the 20 minutes playtime. D.J posted his first double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds against the New York Knicks in 21 minutes!
This was followed by a new career-high of 13 points on January 16 against the Memphis Grizzlies. On January 31, Wilson improved his best score and brought it up to 16 points which were posted against the Toronto Raptors. The 16 point high was just not enough for Wilson and on April 10 he posted a new career-high of 17 rebounds, 4 assists, and 18 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
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