Warriors point guard Ky Bowman did not get selected in the 2019 NBA Draft.
But shortly after the draft came and went, Golden State signed the Boston College product to a two-way contract.
Why did the Warriors feel compelled to invest in Bowman? Well, front office executives were sold once they met with him at the NBA combine in May.
Marcus Thompson of The Athletic has the details:
Bowman told them about his father, Todd, who suddenly died when he was 8 years old. How that left a void he could never fill as much as he tried, or ever ignore as hard as he focused. How his dad dying meant losing the fulfillment of making your father proud, losing the sturdy foundation of the inexplicable-yet-intrinsic bond between a man and his boy.
Bowman told them about his mother, Lauretha Prichard, and the sacrifices she made. How she worked multiple low-paying jobs to help make ends meet for her five children. How even though it cost her money, she spent weekends with him in Raleigh when he played AAU. How her love, her relentlessness, was the putty holding him together.
When he left the interview, Bowman was still stunned at what just happened. He didn't expect to be so emotional, so vulnerable. But one feeling stood out the most for him after his session with the Warriors: "Relief."
It all makes sense now.
"We interviewed him in Chicago when the combine was taking place, and he really warmed our hearts," Warriors assistant general manager Larry Harris said on KNBR 680 back in late June. "And when the fans get a chance to meet him and hear him speak and tell his story, you can't help but cheer for the guy."
Warriors fans have been cheering for Bowman well before learning about his backstory.
The 22-year-old is averaging 15.8 points, 4.2 assists and 1.6 steals over the last five games, while shooting 51.6 percent overall and 52.4 percent from deep.
Not bad for a guy who isn't even on a full-time NBA contract.
That interview with the Warriors in Chicago changed his life.
"It was authentic and real," Kent Lacob, the Warriors' Director of Team Development, told Thompson. "And he really gave us some insight into the fabric of who he is as a person and how he got that way. And it is confirmed in all you're seeing from him now.
"It was a memorable interview, for sure, and its been great being around him and his energy these first few months. He's just the type of kid who is going to be successful in life."