CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Jason Williford admitted he got a little emotional watching De'Andre Hunter, Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy all get drafted into the NBA Thursday night. He said Thursday night was the culmination of a lot of hard work by the three newest "Pro 'Hoos."
"Every kid that plays basketball dreams of this," Williford said Friday morning. "For them to be able to see it through, it warmed my heart. I got a little teary eyed last night, but it was fun."
The three players were the first group of three Virginia teammates drafted the same year in the common two-round draft era. They are the second group of three teammates drafted the same year, but that was when the NBA Draft was 10 rounds.
The emotions started early for Williford Thursday night when De'Andre Hunter was selected fourth overall, the highest drafted Wahoo since Ralph Sampson was the first pick in 1983. Ty Jerome followed at number 24 before Kyle Guy closed Virginia's draft as the 55th selection
Williford says he texted each of them congratulations and one last piece of advice.
"Its a blessing and all your hard work paid off," he said, "but its just the beginning. This is not the end. This is just the beginning of that next step, that next chapter."
Hunter is headed to the Atlanta Hawks. Jerome will be a member of the Phoenix Suns. Guy will play for the Sacramento Kings. Each of those teams are in a stage of a rebuilding process.
All three will be in similar situations to when they arrived on Grounds at Virginia. Their first year, the group went 23-11.
"You're going to a place, places where you've got to kind of just work and grind and be a piece," Williford said. "They know how to do that. What they're going to bring is a lot of hard work. They're going to bring that winning attitude. That winning spirit. And they're just going to be great culture guys."
Williford stressed how hard the three former Wahoos worked to get to Thursday night's draft. He says that is going to help each of them as they begin their professional careers.
"Its a testament to their hard work and dedication that they made it this far," Williford said. "To see those guys get their names called, it was big time. Big time."