Stamford's Aaron Wheeler, Waterbury's Tyrn Flowers selected in first round of NBA G League draft

Photo of David Borges

Stamford's Aaron Wheeler was taken with the third overall pick in the 2022 NBA G League draft on Saturday.

Wheeler, who played four seasons at Purdue before finishing his college career last season with St. John's, was selected by the Greensboro Swarm, the G League affiliate of the Charlotte Hornets.

"Charlotte kind of came as a surprise," Wheeler said when reached by phone by Hearst Connecticut Media. "I didn't work out for them or anything. I think they got some intel from some guys from St. John's, the director of basketball operations and a few people. I guess they liked my film."

Wheeler, a 6-foot-9 forward who played at Trinity Catholic for two years before prepping at St. Andrew's in Rhode Island, wasn't the only Connecticut product selected on Saturday. Tyrn Flowers of Waterbury was taken with the 23rd overall pick by Wisconsin.

Wheeler averaged 10 points per game and shot 38.5 percent from 3-point land last season at St. John's. He had been hoping to sign an Exhibit 10 contract with an NBA team this fall, and also spoke with some overseas teams.

Instead, he will head down to Greensboro on Sunday and begin training camp this upcoming week.

"I'm going to feel out the G League this year, hope all goes well, play well, and hopefully that will open up more opportunities for the future," he said. "Just going in there with the mentality to try to play well, be a good teammate, and hopefully this year can help myself with the future."

Wheeler noted that several G League players earned 10-day NBA contracts last season, or were even promoted to an NBA roster. The average G League salary is about $37,000 per year.

Flowers, a 6-9 forward, began his career at UMass but played the past four years at Long Island University. He was one of the nation's top scorers this past season at 19.1 points per game.

Flowers played his high school ball at Sacred Heart. @DaveBorges