Cameron Payne touched his own Thunder jersey for the first time this morning.
Payne worked his way up from the 41st rated point guard in his high school class to the 14th overall pick.
A work ethic that drew the Thunder's attention.
“He doesn't anticipate or expect things to lay out perfectly for him,” Thunder General Manager, Sam Presti, said. “They haven't to this point and he's worked himself through a process of development which we think will bode well for him as he moves forward.”
Cameron Payne is known for playing at Murray State a small school in Kentucky that he says has comparable fans to Oklahoma City in that their passion runs deep for their team.
Payne also got to spend an extra day and a half here in Oklahoma City between workouts and says that extra time here made him realize this may have been the place for him.
“When I first got here I seen Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant so that was a big time plus right off the rip and they greeted me by my name,” Cameron Payne said. “I was star struck from the beginning already. This city and what they do for the Thunder is great because the whole city is coming together, and they come every night to watch the Thunder play. It's just fantastic. It feels like a big time college out here the way the fans come out and support every night.”
Payne may already share a special bond with new thunder head coach Billy Donovan.
They both weren't always in the spot light growing up before making the NBA.
“We kind of had the similar story about being over looked, and staying with the process and trusting it, not giving up and just keep believing in yourself,” Payne said.
“He knew it was going to be a process to grow and develop,” Thunder Head Coach, Billy Donovan said. “It was really encouraging to hear that because in life I think it's about going through a process. I think our organization's about going through a process and continuing to build. And I think he fits all those things, so there were some similarities we were able to share and both of our experiences in life.”