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Local NBA Draft prospect working out in father's church

Nate Hinton's dad is the senior pastor at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Gastonia
Credit: AP
Houston guards Nate Hinton (11) and Quentin Grimes (24) celebrate a score by Grimes against Memphis during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, March 8, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

GASTONIA, N.C. — Many NBA Draft prospects work out in large cities, far from home, in state-of-the-art facilities.

But Gastonia's Nate Hinton is home, working out at a very unlikely location.

His father's church.

"That's where I first started rec league basketball, on that court," said Hinton. "Since I was three."

Dr. Benjamin Hinton, Nate's father, is the senior pastor at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Gastonia.

But in order for Nate to get ready for pro basketball, the church's court did need to undergo a very important renovation.

"They had carpet in the gym when I grew up," Hinton said. "But this year they changed it to the hardwood floor so it kind of worked in my favor."

Hinton is a 6-foot-5 shooting guard who started all 31 games for the University of Houston Cougars in 2019-20 as a sophomore.

He averaged 10.6 points per game, shot 41 percent from the floor and 38.7 percent from three this season, while averaging 8.7 rebounds.

Hinton also snagged a team-high 43 steals, and projects to be selected in the second round of Wednesday's NBA Draft.

"I'm excited," he said. "My energy is ramping up. I'm extremely blessed. I'm going to be in an opportunity where I can change my life and the lives of those around me."