Nigel Hayes is another typical example of how going undrafted in the NBA shouldn’t truncate one’s professional basketball career. We’ve seen the likes of Justin Holiday work their way from an undrafted player in the 2011 NBA Draft to an NBA Championship title holder in 2015 and Nigel Hayes, we dare to say, seems to be just right on track to staging one of the most incredible basketball stories ever told.
Like Justin Holiday, Nigel Hayes never says never, despite being waived a number of times and offered only short-term contracts, the power forward keeps pushing on. As his career has progressed, many basketball lovers have come to pick up an interest in Nigel’s life and career and the question “Who Is Nigel Hayes?” is increasingly on their lips. In this article, we attempt to answer that question in 6 detailed facts you should know about the baller.
Who Is Nigel Hayes?
Nigel Hayes was born on December 16, 1994, in Westerville, Ohio. As with most pro basketballers, Hayes began playing basketball from a young age, practising with a group of boys in his neighbourhood. He attended Whitmer High School in Toledo, Ohio where he played for the varsity team as a power forward. Hayes ended his career being ranked as a 3-star athlete by the likes of Rivals, 247Sports. However, Scouts and ESPN rated him at 4-star.
6 Facts To Know About The NBA Player
1. His college basketball spell
A high school three-star recruit from Whitmer High School, Hayes received offers from the Ohio State Buckeyes, as well as the Wisconsin Badgers. He chose the latter over the Buckeyes in his native Ohio.
A 6 feet 8 inches power forward, Nigel Hayes had numerous achievements in the NCAA. They included back-to-back Final Four appearances, Big Ten All-Freshman team (2014), Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year (2014), 2× Third-team All-Big Ten (2015, 2017), and First-team All-Big Ten (2016).
He played in a total of 150 games and recorded an average PPG of 12.4. Hayes graduated with a degree in Business Finance and Investment Banking.
2. He frequently made the news mostly for off-the-court reasons
Nigel Hayes, during his time as an NCAA star, was very popular for his off-the-court antics. From challenging stenographers with long words like “antidisestablishmentarianism” to crushing on one of them right in the middle of a press conference, the baller really likes to draw attention to himself.
On the latter occasion, Hayes and two of his teammates were having a press conference when he suddenly became so enamoured of one of the stenographers, Debra Bollman, so much that he whispered: “Oh my gosh, she’s beautiful.” It became an awkward situation when Hayes thought that the small crowd didn’t hear him, he obviously forgot that his mic was still on.
Nigel Hayes also made the headlines for crashing weddings during the summer of 2015.
3. He speaks against racism and unfairness
Antics aside, Nigel Hayes equally used his outspoken nature for good causes. He found fame for speaking against racial injustices, often taking to his social media accounts where he has a mammoth following to support the Black Lives Matter movement. He once protested the low compensation of NCAA athletes by showing up at ESPN’s College GameDay, holding up a sign that read: “broke college athlete, anything helps.”
4. Nigel Hayes is a mama’s boy
Hayes, during his college years, frequently spoke fondly of his mom, Talaya Davis calling her the “best mom” on one occasion, and the queen of the universe on another.
He rarely ever speaks of his biological father, the reason being that his mom was the only parent he had for the most part of his childhood.
Hayes’ mother and his biological father divorced in 2000 when he was just 6 years old. Since then, Hayes has remained estranged from his biological father as neither of the two have made efforts to reconnect with each other.
However, Hayes hasn’t been without a father figure in his life. Two years after his dad left his mom, Talaya remarried a certain Albert Davis Sr in 2002 and he has been like a father to him since then. In his profile on the UW database, Albert is listed as his father. Hayes and his stepfather have grown over the years to become close friends and refer to each other as “wingman”. Nigel credits Albert for the level of success he has achieved in his life.
5. At least 4 NBA teams have waived him
Nigel Hayes is yet to make it big professionally but giving up is not part of his plans. He joined the New York Knicks’ 2017 NBA Summer League program after going undrafted in the 2017 NBA Draft. He was waived in October 2017.
Nigel spent the majority of what would have been his rookie season playing in the NBA G League with the Westchester Knicks. He spent the first half of 2018 moving back and forth NBA teams like Toronto Raptors, Sacramento Kings, and the Los Angeles Lakers. On August 29th, 2018, Hayes made his way to Europe to join Turkish Basketbol Süper Ligi’s Galatasaray S.K on a one year deal.
6. His salary
Per Spotrac, Nigel made a mere $55,296 as salary in the 2017-2019 season. The power forward stands to make even more with the European side.