Ducks’ Mathis drafted by Spurs, gets chance at NBA

Athlete of the Week

Anthony Mathis' Spurs will join 16 other G-League affiliates in Orlando

Oregon’s Anthony Mathis with teammate Payton Pritchard in the background, 2019 (Getty)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The NBA draft process has been anything but normal for former Duck Anthony Mathis, but this week he finally got the call he’s been working toward his whole life.

After months of waiting and wondering how the NBA would handle their G-League draft, the West Linn native finally got the call he’d been taken by the San Antonio Spurs G-League affiliate.

“It was a bit of a relief,” Mathis said. “Super exciting. Still a lot of work to be done. This is just the first step so I’m going to go into Orlando with a lot of confidence and, you know, play the best that I can play and let the chips fall where they may.”

Mathis’ Spurs will join 16 other G-League affiliates in Orlando for another Bubble featuring a 12-15 game season. He will double down on one of the biggest reasons the Spurs drafted him — his knockdown shooting.

In his last year at Oregon, more than 45% of his shots from beyond the arc fell.

“They truly believe in my shooting, obviously. Everyone knows me as being a shooter and I just want to prove I can go out there and do some other things,” Mathis said. “Obviously shoooting’s something I’ll lean on but I want to show people I can do a lot more than just shooting.”

Former Duck Anthony Mathis was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs, January 2021 (KOIN)

But he hopes it not just his shooting but his character that sets him apart. He said he wants to be know as “just super outgoing guy, super positive guy super hard worker, someone everyone can be around, loves to have a good time, loves to laugh and just brings a lot of positive energy around.”

For Mathis it’s just the next step but far from where he wants to be — in the NBA with his high school and college teammate Payton Pritchard.

“Seeing him do some incredible things early on in the season, this is the stuff we dreamed about always playing in the NBA,” he said. “But it’s wild just to see him on theTV guarding KD and these guys we’ve always talked about. It’s amazing.”

He dreams about the “main goal: To either be on the team with Payton, alongside him again, playing together with him — or guarding him.”

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