NBA Draftees Stephon Castle, Matas Buzelis and More Talk Fashion on the Big Night

“I’ve seen so many crazy suits I didn’t want my suit to be remembered for the wrong reasons,” said Stephon Castle of his fashion thought process heading into his NBA draft night.

“Simple but not too simple” was how Castle described his final look, a sentiment that applied to many of the looks Wednesday evening at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where round one of the 2024 NBA Draft was held (the second round will be held Thursday at Barclays, marking the first time they’ve been split across two days).

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Only a handful of the players on Wednesday said they worked with stylists on their look, while a couple worked directly with brands (Cody Williams and Rhude, Alex Sarr and Versace). For many others, family and friends came to the rescue.

“My mother picked this out,” said Matas Buzelis of his strong shoulder look. “I don’t like to do a lot [fashion wise], I like that it’s very simple.”

His interpretation of simple still managed to be high fashion: “YSL pinstripes, Tom Ford tie, YSL shoes,” he said. “And then I have my initials right here [pointing to his cuff monogram].”

Third overall pick Reed Sheppard enlisted the help of his girlfriend to select a pale green suit from State and Liberty.

“It’s simple and clean, it kind of reminds me of myself,” he said. “I’m a simple guy.”

Also choosing green, albeit a dark forest variation, was Kyle Filipowski. “I love roses, so having the design of the roses on the jacket is super nice, very me,” he said. “The green is not too much but something underrated.”

The suit lining was images of him playing in college at Duke. “And then on this side is me having fun, smiling,” he said, pointing to the left of the jacket’s inside. “I think that’s always an important thing, to keep that smile.”

Devin Carter also opted for color, choosing a pale sky blue. “I went with a little Florida boy pastel color with some crystals, to make it pop,” said Carter, who was one of the few to have worked with a stylist on the look. He paired the sparkly suit with a Hublot watch and a pair of glasses made for him by his jeweler. The number of draftees who arrived with custom jewelry pieces no doubt hints to the role NIL has played in their lives.

Ja’Kobe Walter wore a royal purple tuxedo jacket with black trousers. “I chose the purple because it’s one of my sister’s favorite colors,” he said. “I got the Prada shoes, Prada shades.” The lining of his jacket featured family photos he’d selected, a favorite one being a shot of his parents.

Walter said he is interested in fashion, preferring to wear baggy clothes when not in athletic wear. “I like Balenciaga a lot,” he said. “I like nice joggers, nice hoodies.” Meanwhile, Carlton Carrington opted for a muted all-black ensemble, save for a green ribbon pin to raise awareness of mental illness.

“What you wear on draft day is a representation of yourself,” he said, “and I’m a simple guy.”

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