Archbishop Stepinac High School graduate AJ Griffin was picked by the Atlanta Hawks with the 16th pick in the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft June 23.
Griffin was expected to be a lottery pick, one of the first 14 picks of the draft, with several pre-draft mock drafts having him being selected by the Knicks at No. 11.
The Knicks chose to trade their first-round picks as well as point guard Kemba Walker, a Rice High School graduate who averaged 11.6 point in 37 games last season, to free up cap space and acquire draft picks for future drafts.
Griffin, 18, averaged 10.4 points and 3.9 rebounds per game in helping lead Duke to the Final Four during his one season at the Durham, N.C., school. He shot 49.3 percent from the floor and 44.7 percent from beyond the three-point arc.
The 6-foot-6 guard helped the Stepinac Crusaders win a state federation championship in 2018. Stepinac players and coaches were at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the NBA Draft.
Griffin is the son of Adrian and Audrey Griffin. Adrian played at Seton Hall University before playing in the NBA for 10 seasons and becoming an assistant coach in the NBA. Audrey was a member of Seton Hall’s track and field program.
AJ’s older brother, Alan, also was a member of Stepinac’s 2018 championship team. He played at the University of Illinois and Syracuse University before playing in the NBA G League and the Canadian Elite Basketball League during the 2021-2022 season.
AJ’s sister, Aubrey, plays for the University of Connecticut.