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Suns star Deandre Ayton: ‘Knowing what I do and what I sacrifice leads to wins, I’m happy’ – The Athletic

Deandre Ayton has accepted a lot of pressure in life. He embraced the demands of being a No. 1 NBA draft pick, the responsibility of being the face of basketball in the Bahamas and the challenge that comes with anchoring one of the NBA’s newest title contenders. Lessons of sacrifice are far from new to Ayton.

As a 12-year-old, Ayton and his family realized his basketball dreams required the kind of decision that so few are able or willing to make. In order for Deandre to reach the highest level, he needed to leave his family and his home for the United States.

“My mother sacrificed so much, sending me off at age 12 to come to the United States for school and education and eventually playing basketball,” Ayton said in a phone call with The Athletic last week. “Sending her firstborn off was a big sacrifice. A big, big sacrifice. I was her first child, and it meant a lot.

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