Anthony Edwards paid tribute to his late mother and grandmother as he was named the NBA’s number one draft pick with a move to Minnesota Timberwolves.
Both family members died of cancer and the Georgia guard, 19, sat next to paintings of the pair as the announcement was made.
“It’s an indescribable feeling – I can’t even describe it,” Edwards said.
“My family is emotional. I’m sure when I get off of here I’m going to get emotional.”
Edwards stands to earn a four-year contract worth $44.2m (£33.39m) under terms of the existing collective bargaining agreement.
Memphis 7ft centre James Wiseman was the number two pick selected by six-time champions Golden State Warriors, who finished bottom of the Western Conference last season.
Point guard LaMelo Ball, the brother of New Orleans Pelicans point guard Lonzo, was the third pick selected by the Charlotte Hornets. LaMelo, 19, and 2017 second pick Lonzo, 23, are the first brothers selected in the top five of the NBA draft.
Chicago Bulls opted for Florida State small forward Patrick Williams as the fourth pick.
The draft was originally scheduled for 25 June but had been delayed because of the fallout from the coronavirus. Last year’s event was held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, but Wednesday’s event was conducted at ESPN headquarters in Connecticut and held via video calls.
Boxes of hats were sent to the top prospects so they could wear the appropriate one when their name was read out.