Hyland drafted by Denver with the 26th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft

Bones Hyland became VCU’s first player ever to go from sophomore to NBA draftee when the Denver Nuggets selected the Wilmington, DE native with the 26th overall pick in the first round of Thursday’s NBA Draft. He’s VCU’s first player to get drafted since Larry Sanders was chosen with the 15th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, Sanders previously VCU’s only other early entrant to hear his name called on draft night.

Hyland, the 2021 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, led VCU to a second place A-10 finish as the Rams’ star guard this season, averaging 19.5 points per game for the black and gold. The confident marksmen though saw his stock hit perhaps an all-time high this offseason after impressing teams in individual workouts and leading all players in scoring in his NBA Combine scrimmage, scoring 17 points on 3-5 shooting from deep while grabbing six rebounds and dishing four attempts against some of the nation’s most promising young talent.

“This kid just played his way into the first-round and he is not done yet… he could be the biggest riser in this year’s draft class”, tweeted Brett Siegel on the comments on one NBA scout.

That performance coupled with an impressive sophomore year at VCU turned into a multi-million dollar payday for the young Ram. He’ll join a Denver team that finished third in the Western Conference with a 47-25 record.

Hyland also fills a void left in the NBA when VCU’s two most recent NBA-rostered players, Treveon Graham and Troy Daniels, were both recently waived by their NBA teams. Graham last played for the Atlanta Hawks during the 2019-20 season, Daniels coincidentally a brief with stint the Denver Nuggets in 2020.

Hyland did not attend last night’s draft, instead choosing to celebrate with family and friends, including several VCU players and staffers, back home in Wilmington.

A two-time graduate of VCU (School of the Arts '07, Center for Sport Leadership '10), Mat is a co-founder of VCU Ram Nation and a longtime fan as the ...