DETROIT -- History was made inside Barclays Center in Brooklyn during the 2023 NBA draft Thursday night when commissioner Adam Silver announced brothers Amen and Ausar Thompson as back-to-back draft picks.
The Houston Rockets selected Amen No. 4 overall, and the Detroit Pistons then drafted Ausar at No. 5. They became the first brothers to be drafted in the top 5 of the same draft since the 1976 ABA-NBA merger, per ESPN Stats & Information.
"I think it's kind of cool going first. It means a lot to my family," Amen said. "Me and Ausar, we were going to be happy whoever went first. But it means a lot to my family seeing all the hard work pay off. Us go back to back, be the first twins in the same draft to go top five, it means a lot."
Their mother, Maya Wilson, agreed.
"There are no words really to express how I'm feeling," she told ESPN following the picks. "To see them back-to-back, that blows my mind. The world is just opening up to them. There's not limit. So, I'm just very excited about what's in store so just very, very happy."
The twins both starred for the City Reapers in the Overtime Elite league, where they captured OTE titles. Amen will now join a Rockets team that finished 22-60 while ranking 27th in offensive efficiency (110.5) and 29th in defensive efficiency (118.6).
His skills were impressive to league scouts.
"Just being in the NBA, you know, playing with these athletic guys, I feel like my best brand of basketball is running and we're a young team so that's what we're going to do," Amen said.
Ausar will also try to help a Pistons team that went 17-65 this past season and has gone 15 consecutive seasons without at playoff victory, which is the longest active drought in the league. The Pistons also selected Jaden Ivey with the No. 5 pick in 2022 and Cade Cunningham at No. 1 in 2021 and recently hired former Phoenix Suns Coach of the Year Monty Williams.
"Super excited. I'm super excited to meet my coaches, meet my teammates and just grow with them," Ausar said. "I'm trying to contend."
Now that their lifelong goal of reaching the NBA is fulfilled, their father Troy Thompson shared his vision for their next chapter.
"The vision now is to become leaders on their team," Troy said. "Obviously, being at least first-team All-Rookie and maybe compete for Rookie of the Year. We've got big ambitions."