By David Boclair
Garrison Mathews lost sleep Thursday night.
It was not disappointment over the fact that he was not taken in the 2019 NBA Draft that kept the Lipscomb University record-setter up. It was that the shock that he got a deal so quickly after the selection process ended.
The Washington Wizards signed Mathews, a Franklin High School graduate, to a two-way contract Thursday night. The deal means that the 6-foot-7 guard/forward will be given time to develop in the G League but also have the opportunity to spend time in the NBA, if needed or if his performance warrants it.
“I was honestly in shock when my agent called and told me the news,” Mathews told Lipscomb’s athletics website. “We had been hearing some different things about possibly getting taken in the draft, but when I didn’t go, we thought we would hear something (Friday) morning. But he called me as I was getting in bed, so of course I couldn’t go to sleep after that.
“It means so much to me to get this opportunity after working so hard to get here.”
No Lipscomb player ever has made it to the NBA.
The first step for Mathews toward that end is to play for Washington’s entry in the NBA Summer League, which begins July 5.
“It would mean a lot to me to be able to represent the school that has supported me throughout my career and made me into the person I am today [in the NBA],” he said. “I’ll be so happy when the day comes that I get to do it for Lipscomb.”
Mathews is Lipscomb’s all-time NCAA leader in points (2,478), field goal attempts (1,693), 3-pointers (360), 3-point attempts (963), free throws (608) and free throw attempts (771). He was the 2019 A-Sun Player of the Year and the conference’s second all-time leading scorer.
“The last month has been crazy traveling from city to city competing with great players and really not knowing if I was going to make it or not, so it’s great to finally have a little bit of closure on where I’m going,” he said. “Now I can focus on playing and getting better.”
Photo by Getty Images.