Hawks' Justinian Jessup wasn't even watching the 2020 NBA Draft

Guard Justinian Jessup of the Boise State Broncos drives the ball up the court. Loren Orr/Getty Images

Nine days into a two-week quarantine in Sydney, Justinian Jessup, the American shooting guard out of Boise State, was in the midst of his usual routine to keep himself occupied on draft day.

He's been reading - lately, it's been the bible; next, it's Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed - getting his workouts with an exercise bike and kettle bell, and watching his TV shows.

Jessup's agent, Nathan Pezeshki, was the one in charge of doing the leg work on Thursday (AEDT), and as the Golden State Warriors' 51st pick edged closer, things became clear.

"That's when Nate texted me the news," Jessup told ESPN.

Fresh off fears that Klay Thompson had torn his right Achilles, the Warriors remained locked in on draft night; selecting Jessup, who's signed with the NBL's Hawks as a Next Star.

"It was surreal, of course," Jessup said.

"It comes as a shock. My heart just kind of stopped for a while, and it was hard to breathe at first. Then, I was a flood of excitement and joy."

Jessup was selected with the expectation that he would be a draft-and-stash player for the Warriors, and that hasn't changed.

The 6'7 sharpshooter is in the back-end of his mandatory quarantine, and will then join Brian Goorjian and his Hawks teammates in Wollongong to prepare for the 2020-21 NBL season.

Jessup's hope is that a season with the Hawks can be a precursor to joining the Warriors, who have been one of the NBA's premier perimeter shooting teams over the past decade.

"I'm super excited. I think it's a great fit," he said.

"They're really well run, had a lot of success; they've had some great players there, so I'm super excited about the pick and the fit overall.

"Especially this year, with COVID. I haven't played an actual game in a really long time. I think it's a great opportunity (to be in the NBL); a blessing in disguise. I'm able to develop even more and get more ready for that NBA level of play."

Jessup is a known commodity on the offensive end, shooting just under 40 percent from downtown over his senior year in Boise State, and has pinpointed the other end of the floor as the aspect of his game he's hoping to show his value on during the NBL season.

"I want to keep improving my defence, and my overall toughness," Jessup said. "I want to just be able to take on any challenge head on. I think, defensively, it's going to be a good year, just to work on that."

"Defensively, you can work on that through working on your body - just the athleticism - and then just playing against other good players; like, this whole summer, I was playing against NBA guys, and I think that really helped me.

"Hopefully it's something the Warriors will be encouraged by when they watch the games this year, and something I know I'm gonna need to continue to improve at to have a chance to play in the NBA."

With Jessup joining the Hawks in under a week, Goorjian nearly has his entire roster in town.

Tyler Harvey would be the only remaining Hawk not in Wollongong, as the revamped franchise looks to make a splash when the new NBL season starts in the middle of January.

Jessup pointed to Harvey, as well as fellow rookie Isaac White, as the other notable shooters on the Hawks' roster, but sees an opportunity for him to step in right away and make an impact in that area.

"I think there's definitely an opportunity there, and there's outside shots to be taken," Jessup said.

"Obviously, I don't want to jump to any conclusions and say I'm gonna take a bunch of shots, but I think that's part of the reason they brought me here; because I can shoot the ball."

And what's Jessup's plan for when he escapes quarantine in four days' time?

"Go to the gym; right away," Jessup said, without hesitation. "I'm getting straight in the car and getting straight to the gym. No questions asked."