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Gordon Hayward

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Gordon Hayward
Gordon Hayward, Celtics.jpg
Hayward, prior to making his debut for the Celtics
No. 20 – Boston Celtics
Position Small forward
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1990-03-23) March 23, 1990 (age 27)
Indianapolis, Indiana
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight 226 lb (103 kg)
Career information
High school Brownsburg (Brownsburg, Indiana)
College Butler (2008–2010)
NBA draft 2010 / Round: 1 / Pick: 9th overall
Selected by the Utah Jazz
Playing career 2010–present
Career history
20102017 Utah Jazz
2017–present Boston Celtics
Career highlights and awards
Stats at
Stats at

Gordon Daniel Hayward[1] (born March 23, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball at Butler University for two seasons where he led his team to a runner-up finish in the 2010 NCAA Tournament his sophomore season.[2] He was selected by the Utah Jazz with the ninth overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft. Hayward was named an NBA All-Star for the first time in 2017.

Early years and high school

Hayward attended Brownsburg High School in Brownsburg, Indiana. As a senior in the 2007–08 season, Hayward was named first team All-State and led Brownsburg to the Indiana Class 4A state championship. In the 4A state title game, Hayward hit the game-winning layup at the buzzer to defeat Marion High School 40–39.[3] Hayward averaged 18.0 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game as a senior.[4]

Hayward's unusual skill set was largely the result of his father's misconception about his future growth.[5] Gordon Scott Hayward, Hayward's father, is 5'10" (1.78 m). Hayward's mother, Jody, is the same height. According to sports commentator Pat Forde, Hayward's father "continually pushed his son to develop a guard's skill set," believing he was destined to be of average size.[5] Forde refers to Hayward as "The guy who learned how to play like a guard but now has the size of a power forward."

Hayward's first appearance in the sports pages was not in basketball, but in tennis. Hayward and his twin sister, Heather, were featured in a regional edition of the Indianapolis Star when they played mixed doubles together at the Indiana State Open in 2005. Heather had already played #1 singles for her high school team, and Gordon would follow in his sister's footsteps the next year. At the time, they hoped to attend Purdue University, their parents' alma mater.[6] Although Hayward's first love was basketball, he would later recall, "I looked at the future and figured playing basketball in college wasn't realistic."[6] In fact, as a 5'11" (1.80 m) freshman, he seriously considered quitting basketball entirely to focus on tennis; his mother persuaded him to stay with the sport one more year.[1]

The twins' plans changed when the younger Hayward underwent an unexpected growth spurt. He shot up to 6'4" as a sophomore and two years after he almost abandoned basketball, he had grown to 6'7" (2.01 m); he reached 6'8" (2.03 m) as a senior,[5][6] and reportedly added another inch at Butler (though the NBA lists him at 6'8").[5] He would soon have profiles on recruiting websites in both tennis and basketball. Gordon ultimately received three scholarship offers: one from nearby IUPUI, another from Purdue, and one from Butler. Ultimately he chose Butler because the Bulldogs' 6:30 am practices would not interfere with his planned major of computer engineering, and because Heather would be able to play tennis there.[1] While he verbally committed to Butler as a junior, he skipped AAU basketball during the following summer because he wanted to put in enough tennis practice to contend for a state high school title in his senior year. He had a 26–3 record in singles that year, but lost in the state tournament.

College career

Hayward unexpectedly made an instant impact in his freshman year (2008–09). Butler had lost four starters from a 30-win season and were picked fifth in the Horizon League.[7] However, the Bulldogs went 26–5 and won the Horizon League. Hayward averaged 13.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game and was named Horizon Newcomer of the Year and first team All-Conference.

In the offseason, Hayward was selected to Team USA for the 2009 FIBA Under-19 World Championship in Auckland, New Zealand. Playing for Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon, Hayward was a surprise star for the Championship squad, averaging 10 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. At the conclusion of the tournament, Hayward was named to the "All-Star Five" of the event, with teammate Tyshawn Taylor.[8]

After raising his profile in the FIBA tournament, Hayward was named to numerous preseason All-America teams, and was a preseason candidate for the Wooden Award and the Naismith Award prior to the 2009–10 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. He was also named preseason All-Horizon League.

During the 2009–10 season, Hayward was the only player to finish in the Horizon League's top five in both scoring and rebounding; he was also in the league's top 10 in field goal percentage, free throw percentage, blocked shots, offensive rebounding, defensive rebounding (in which he led the league), and minutes per game.[9] At the end of the regular season, he was named the Horizon League Player of the Year.[10] Hayward was also named a third-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American.[11] In the NCAA Tournament, Hayward was named the MVP of the West Region as he led Butler to the National Championship game. In the championship game against Duke, he barely missed a game-winning, buzzer-beating, half-court shot, which hit the backboard and rim, and would have given Butler its first NCAA championship.[12]

College statistics

2008–09 Butler 32 32 32.7 .479 .448 .815 6.4 1.9 1.5 .9 13.1
2009–10 Butler 37 37 33.5 .464 .294 .829 8.2 1.7 1.1 .8 15.5
Career 69 69 33.1 .470 .369 .824 7.4 1.8 1.3 .9 14.4

Leaving for the NBA

When Hayward first emerged as a star at the World U-19s, and agents started leaving messages with his parents, they expressed both surprise and concern. His father felt unprepared for the process of counseling his son through the draft process, while his mother felt that their son was not yet spiritually ready to handle the temptations of the NBA and was not convinced that he was good enough to play in the league.[1] Eventually, his parents decided that his father would learn about the draft and his mother would "put it in the Lord's hands and pray about it".[13] While his father talked with agents and other players who had left early, Butler coach Brad Stevens talked with NBA scouts and general managers; both eventually came to the conclusion that Gordon Hayward was projected as a top-20 pick in the 2010 NBA draft even before Butler's NCAA tournament run.[13] As his parents left Lucas Oil Stadium after the NCAA final, they had one final exchange regarding their son's basketball future. His mother said, "If God wanted him to go to the NBA, he would have hit the shot," but his father responded, "What else is he going to do, get Butler all the way back to the final and hit the shot?"[13] Coincidentally, Butler did reach the national championship game the following year, but lost to the Connecticut Huskies.

On April 14, 2010, Hayward's father confirmed to the Indianapolis Star that his son would submit his name for consideration in the 2010 draft, but he would not immediately hire an agent.[14] While the younger Hayward was dividing his time between his final examinations and physical preparation, his father created a highly detailed two-page questionnaire that he gave to prospective agents. Mark Bartelstein, who survived his father's grilling and became Gordon Hayward's agent, would later say, "It was the most incredibly thorough process I've been through in 25 years. His parents didn't want to leave any stone unturned."[13]

Hayward had until May 8 to withdraw from the draft and retain his college eligibility. However, on the day before the withdrawal deadline, he announced that he would stay in the draft and give up his remaining college eligibility. At the time he announced for the draft, he was widely expected to be selected in the top 20 picks, and that assessment did not change before the deadline. When announcing that he was leaving for the NBA, Hayward said that he planned to eventually complete his degree. On June 24, 2010, Hayward was selected as the ninth overall pick in the NBA draft by the Utah Jazz.[2] His hometown team, the Indiana Pacers, selected just one pick later but Hayward seemed happy about going to Utah. In an interview with Craig Sager he remarked "I know the players there (in Utah) play hard. That's what's going to be expected of me." Regarding not being drafted by the Pacers: "I'm just excited to go where I've gone. It was a dream to play for the Pacers growing up, but I think it was a dream of all little boys in Indiana. Just because you grew up watching them. But it was also a dream to play in the NBA. To be able to put on that Utah Jazz jersey will be something very special." Despite having needs in the front court, the Jazz picked Hayward for his athleticism, ball handling skills, and versatility. Both Kevin O'Connor and Jerry Sloan commented that Hayward was a "very smart player that knew the game really well."

Professional career

Utah Jazz (2010–2017)

Hayward played in 72 games during his rookie season with the Utah Jazz, averaging 5.4 points per game and shooting 47 percent from three-point range. Early in the season, he played sparingly for the Jazz, but he earned more minutes later in the year and responded with strong play in the team's last few games. On April 5, 2011 he made several clutch plays in the final minutes of an 86–85 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. Hayward finished with 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists, and his defense forced Lakers star Kobe Bryant into a terrible performance (7 turnovers and just 6-of-18 shooting from the floor).[15] Hayward finished the season with a 34-point game, a career high at the time, in a 107–103 win over the Denver Nuggets on April 13.[16]

On February 8, 2012, Hayward was selected to play in the 2012 Rising Stars Challenge. He was drafted to play for Team Chuck. In the game, Hayward recorded 14 points as Team Chuck won the game.[17]

Left to right: Trey Burke, Patrick Beverley, Enes Kanter, and Hayward

After the Jazz lost the majority of their offensive presence in Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson during the 2013 offseason, Hayward emerged as the Jazz's new offensive threat, putting up very impressive numbers most nights despite a very weak start to the 2013–14 season. On January 7, 2014, Hayward scored career-high 37 points in a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.[18]

After the 2013–14 season, Hayward became a restricted free agent. On July 10, 2014, Hayward received a four-year, $63 million offer sheet from the Charlotte Hornets.[19] On July 12, 2014, the Jazz matched the offer sheet, re-signing Hayward.[20] The following month, he was selected as a finalist for the 2014 USA Men's World Cup team roster,[21] but he did not make the final 12-man roster.[22]

On November 14, 2014, Hayward scored a season-high 33 points in 102–100 win over the New York Knicks.[23]

On January 18, 2016, Hayward scored a season-high 36 points in a 124–119 double overtime loss to the Charlotte Hornets.[24] That same day, he was named a finalist for 2016 Olympic Men's Team.[25] He ultimately withdrew his name from selection due to "family obligations".[26]

On October 7, 2016, Hayward suffered a fracture of the fourth finger on his left hand,[27] and missed the first six games of the 2016–17 season as a result. He made his season debut on November 6, scoring an equal game-high 28 points in a 114–109 win over the New York Knicks.[28] On January 26, he was named a Western Conference All-Star reserve for the 2017 NBA All-Star Game, marking the first All-Star selection of his career while also becoming the first Jazz player to be named an All-Star since Deron Williams in 2011.[29] On February 9, 2017, he scored a season-high 36 points in a 112–105 overtime loss to the Dallas Mavericks.[30] On March 2, 2017, he scored a career-high 38 points in a 107–100 loss to the Indiana Pacers.[31] He set a new career high on April 7, 2017, scoring 39 points in a 120–113 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.[32] On April 21, 2017, in Game 3 of the Jazz's first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers, Hayward scored a career-high 40 points in a 111–106 loss. Hayward's 21 first-quarter points in Game 3 was a franchise playoff record for any one quarter.[33] In Game 7 of the series on April 30, Hayward scored 26 points as the Jazz eliminated the Clippers with a 104–91 victory, closing out the first-round series 4–3 to earn the franchise's first postseason victory since 2010.[34] The Jazz went on to lose in the second round to the Golden State Warriors in 4 games.

Boston Celtics (2017–present)

On July 4, 2017, Hayward announced via The Players' Tribune that he would sign with the Boston Celtics.[35] On July 14, he signed with the Celtics[36] to a reported four-year, $128 million contract.[37] On October 17, 2017, Hayward suffered a fractured tibia and dislocated ankle in his left leg less than six minutes into the Celtics' regular-season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers. He landed awkwardly on the hardwood after an attempted alley-oop off a pass from Kyrie Irving, causing his leg to collapse underneath his weight.[38][39] He was later ruled out for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery.[40][41]

NBA career statistics

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season

2010–11 Utah 72 17 16.9 .485 .473 .711 1.9 1.1 .4 .3 5.4
2011–12 Utah 66 58 30.5 .456 .346 .832 3.5 3.1 .8 .6 11.8
2012–13 Utah 72 27 29.2 .435 .415 .827 3.1 3.0 .8 .5 14.1
2013–14 Utah 77 77 36.4 .413 .304 .816 5.1 5.2 1.4 .5 16.2
2014–15 Utah 76 76 34.4 .445 .364 .812 4.9 4.1 1.4 .4 19.3
2015–16 Utah 80 80 36.2 .433 .349 .824 5.0 3.7 1.2 .3 19.7
2016–17 Utah 73 73 34.5 .471 .398 .844 5.4 3.5 1.0 .3 21.9
2017–18 Boston 1 1 5.0 .500 .000 .000 1.0 .0 .0 .0 2.0
Career 516 408 31.3 .444 .368 .820 4.2 3.4 1.0 .4 15.7
All-Star 1 0 17.3 .571 .000 .000 1.0 2.0 4.0 .0 8.0


2012 Utah 4 4 30.6 .182 .083 1.000 2.8 3.0 .8 .0 7.3
2017 Utah 11 11 37.3 .441 .412 .934 6.1 3.4 .9 .3 24.1
Career 15 15 35.6 .403 .363 .946 5.2 3.3 .9 .2 19.6

Personal life

Outside of basketball, Hayward is an avid video game player, and has been involved with the IGN Pro League. Some of the games he plays include StarCraft II,[42] League of Legends,[43] and Clash Royale.

During the 2016 offseason, Hayward entered a club-level charity tennis tournament in Salt Lake City, his first known competition in that sport since high school, and went on to win the tournament. His first-round opponent would tell The Wall Street Journal in 2017, "I always wanted to know what it was like to be at the other end of [John] Isner’s serve, and this is what it is like. Professional athletes in any sport—they’re just a different animal."[44]

In 2015, Hayward's wife, Robyn, gave birth to the couple's first child.[45] In July 2016, the couple's second child was born.[46]


  1. ^ a b c d Anderson, Kelli (2010-05-31). "The Education of Gordon Hayward". Sports Illustrated. p. 1. Retrieved June 2, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Butler readies for life without Hayward". Associated Press. 2010-05-07. Retrieved May 10, 2010. 
  3. ^ [1] Archived July 25, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ 20 – Gordon Hayward Archived 2011-07-24 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved on 2012-12-13.
  5. ^ a b c d Forde, Pat (2010-02-20). "Hayward, Butler hitting on all cylinders". Retrieved March 6, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c Winn, Luke (2009-06-19). "Butler's Hayward creates buzz at 19-and-under national team trials". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2010-04-21. 
  7. ^ Horizon League announces 2008–09 MBB Preseason Poll Archived 2011-07-11 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved on 2012-12-13.
  8. ^ USA U19 Men Take Gold With 88–80 Win Over Greece. (2009-12-14)
  9. ^ "Individual Basketball Statistics". 2009–10 Horizon League Men's Basketball Overall Statistics. Horizon League. Archived from the original on July 25, 2011. Retrieved March 6, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Horizon League announces men's basketball All-League teams and specialty award winners" (Press release). Horizon League. 2010-03-01. Archived from the original on April 5, 2010. Retrieved March 6, 2010. 
  11. ^ Junior center Cole Aldrich of Kansas, Thomas More senior guard Daniel McKeehan lead ESPN the Magazine's Academic All-America Men's Basketball Teams Archived 2010-02-26 at the Wayback Machine.. (2010-02-22). Retrieved on 2012-12-13.
  12. ^ Facer, Dirk. Butler's Gordon Hayward highlights regional, Deseret News, March 27, 2010.
  13. ^ a b c d Anderson, Kelli (2010-05-31). "The Education of Gordon Hayward". Sports Illustrated. p. 2. Retrieved June 2, 2010. 
  14. ^ Butler's Gordon Hayward to enter NBA draft. (2010-04-14)
  15. ^ Utah Jazz stun Lakers 86–85 behind 22 from Gordon Hayward. (2011-04-06). Retrieved on 2012-12-13.
  16. ^ Denver Nuggets vs. Utah Jazz – Box Score. (2011-04-13). Retrieved on 2012-12-13.
  17. ^ "Team Shaq vs Team Chuck 2012". February 24, 2012. Retrieved February 24, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Thunder at Jazz". 
  19. ^ "Hornets Extend Offer Sheet to Hayward – Charlotte Hornets". 
  20. ^ "Jazz match Hornets' offer sheet for Hayward". 
  21. ^ Sorensen, Mike (5 August 2014). "Hayward makes USA cut, gets praise from coach Mike Krzyzewski". 
  22. ^ "Gordon Hayward cut as U.S. sets FIBA World Cup roster". 
  23. ^ "Gordon Hayward 2014-15 Game Log -". 
  24. ^ "Jazz vs Hornets". 
  25. ^ "Jazz's Hayward Named Finalist for 2016 Olympic Men's Team – Utah Jazz". 
  26. ^ Tribune, Tony Jones The Salt Lake. "Utah Jazz: Gordon Hayward to skip Rio Olympics due to 'family obligations'". 
  27. ^ "Gordon Hayward Injury Update – Utah Jazz". 
  28. ^ "Jazz vs. Knicks – Game Recap – November 6, 2016 – ESPN". 
  29. ^ "Gordon Hayward Named to 2017 NBA All-Star Team". January 26, 2017. Retrieved January 27, 2017. 
  30. ^ "Barnes leads Mavericks' rally to beat Jazz 112–105 in OT". February 9, 2017. Retrieved February 10, 2017. 
  31. ^ "Pacers hit all right notes in victory over road-weary Jazz". March 20, 2017. Retrieved March 21, 2017. 
  32. ^ "Hayward scores 39, leads Jazz to 120–113 win over Wolves". April 7, 2017. Retrieved April 7, 2017. 
  33. ^ "Paul scores 34, Clippers beat Jazz 111–106 to take 2–1 lead". April 21, 2017. Retrieved April 22, 2017. 
  34. ^ "Jazz sink Clippers in 7 for first postseason series win since 2010". April 30, 2017. Retrieved April 30, 2017. 
  35. ^ "Thank You, Utah". The Players' Tribune. July 4, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  36. ^ "Boston Celtics Sign Gordon Hayward". July 14, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  37. ^ Charania, Shams (July 4, 2017). "Sources: Gordon Hayward agrees to $128M deal with Celtics". Retrieved August 3, 2017. 
  38. ^ Rapaport, Daniel (October 17, 2017). "Gordon Hayward Suffers Dislocated Ankle, Fractured Tibia in First Quarter of Season Opener". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved October 18, 2017. 
  39. ^ "Hayward breaks ankle, Cavs hold off Celtics 102-99 in opener". October 17, 2017. Retrieved October 17, 2017. 
  40. ^ "Celtics granted $8.4M player exception for Gordon Hayward". October 28, 2017. Retrieved November 15, 2017. 
  41. ^ "Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward rules out return in 2017-18". November 2, 2017. Retrieved November 15, 2017. 
  42. ^ Robinson, Jon (September 23, 2011). "Gordon Hayward joins pro gaming league". Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  43. ^ gordonhayward. Twitter. June 5, 2012. Retrieved on October 27, 2012.
  44. ^ Perrotta, Tom (April 24, 2017). "The Basketball Star Who Was Better at Tennis". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 4, 2017. 
  45. ^ "A BIG-TIME ADDITION". February 3, 2015. Archived from the original on February 6, 2015. 
  46. ^ Friend, Phil (July 12, 2016). "It's another baby girl for Gordon Hayward". Retrieved July 4, 2017. 

External links