Former Mayfair star Josh Christopher among Lakers' draft prospects

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Arizona State's Josh Christopher participates in the NBA Draft Combine at the Wintrust Arena Thursday, June 24, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Arizona State's Josh Christopher, a four-year standout at Mayfair High in Lakewood, participates in the NBA draft combine. (Charles Rex Arbogast / Associated Press)

The former star from Lakewood Mayfair High who has been a Lakers fan his entire life is now a 6-foot-4 guard from Arizona State who had a pre-draft workout Friday with his favorite team at its practice facility in El Segundo.

So, it was natural to ask Josh Christopher who is his favorite Lakers player.

“My favorite Laker growing up. I mean, it’s tatted on me. Mr. Kobe Bryant,” said Christopher, who raised his hand to display the Mamba insignia tattoo on his right wrist. “I’ve always been a LeBron [James] fan, but we were watching Kobe before LeBron put on that jersey. I mean, I was watching both.

"I’ve been watching the game all my life. I got to go to a Laker parade when I was a little boy, so I’ve been around the game forever. My grandma’s a die-hard Lakers fan. She’s been watching since I was in diapers. … I got to bleed purple and gold.”

The Lakers have the 22nd pick in Thursday’s NBA draft, and it is in this range that Christopher, 19, is projected to be selected.

He explained what it would mean to be drafted by the Lakers.

Alabama guard Joshua Primo in the NCAA tournament.
Alabama guard Joshua Primo celebrates after scoring against UCLA in an NCAA tournament game. (Michael Conroy / Associated Press)

“I would literally take it as an opportunity to just work,” said Christopher, who averaged 14.3 points and shot 30.5% from three in his lone season at ASU. “I wouldn’t take it for granted knowing that I’ve been in L.A. getting my grind on forever. I would soak it in, but then I wouldn’t let that opportunity get away from me. So, I would make sure I lock in.

"You don’t get this opportunity to be drafted by your home team from the Lakers, such a prestigious organization. So, to not take it for granted and to put in work, man. That’s the culture here.”

Joshua Primo, a 6-5 guard from Alabama, also was impressed by the opportunity to work out for the Lakers.

Primo, 18, who averaged 8.1 points and shot 38.1% from three-point range as a freshman, described what it would be like to play for the Lakers.

“Being able to come into a place where so many all-time greats have played, where you know that there is a lot of information at your disposal,” said Primo, who is also expected to be drafted in the first round. “Coming in so young, being able to learn from so many great minds in the game. And then just working against guys who are looking at being Hall of Famers. It’s an amazing place to be to start off your career. I mean, it’s a great jump-start, for sure.”

The Lakers also worked out Marcus Zegarowski, a 6-2 guard from Creighton, Anthony Tarke, a 6-6 guard from Coppin State, Jayvon Graves, a 6-3 guard from Buffalo, and Eugene Omoruyi, a 6-6 forward from Oregon.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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