Former Syracuse basketball standout Elijah Hughes is headed to the NBA.

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The 22-year-old led the Orange in scoring last season (19.0 ppg) and was taken 39th overall by the New Orleans Pelicans in the NBA Draft Wednesday night, then promptly shipped to the Utah Jazz for future draft picks.

Hughes grew up in Beacon, NY, and played a season at East Carolina before headed to play under Coach Boeheim at Syracuse. He played two season at SU, proving himself as an offensive leader and an athletic defender who averaged 3.4 assists per game in the 2019-2020 season - good for second on the team.

An excited Hughes took to twitter several hours after the draft to say: 'wow i'm still shaking', and told his heart stopped when his dream of turning pro became a reality:

“And my agent called and said, ‘Get ready. You’re going to Utah at 39,’” Hughes said. “And after he told me that, my heart stopped. My heart stopped beating. I’m not trying to be funny. My heart really stopped beating. I kind of lost it for a little bit.”

Hughes is the first SU player taken in the NBA Draft since Tyler Lydon was selected in 2017. Ironically, Lydon was picked by the Utah Jazz and promptly traded to the Denver Nuggets. However, the 6-10 Lydon hasn't played in the NBA since 2019.


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