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Deandre Ayton stitches Bahamian flag inside NBA Draft suit

Taking a page out of Lauri Markkanen’s playbook

When the Phoenix Suns drafted Deandre Ayton on Thursday, the big man became the second Bahamian to be a No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft.

The other was Mychal Thompson back in 1978.

Ayton went to high school in San Diego and Phoenix, and college at the University of Arizona, but has always made it clear that the Bahamas are home for him.

The 7-footer stayed true to his roots at the draft Thursday. After being selected by the Suns, Ayton opened his jacket to reveal a Bahamian flag sewn inside.

The Nigerian and Jamaican flags are in there, too.

“My dad is from Nigeria, my mom is Jamaican and Bahamian, so I’m helping all those countries in one,” Ayton explained.

If this all sounds familiar, it’s because former Wildcat Lauri Markkanen had the Finnish flag sewn into his NBA Draft suit last year after he was selected seventh overall.

Ayton’s success is a source of pride for the Bahamas. Before the draft, one Bahamian media member said Ayton will be a national hero if he’s selected first overall.

“To have two Bahamians drafted number one in the NBA is quite a milestone for us,” said Mario Bowleg, the first vice president of the Bahamas Basketball Federation (via Tribune 242).

“We always felt that Bahamians had raw talent when it came down to sports, and we proved that we can compete with anybody in any sport anywhere around the world.”