During the NBA pre-draft process, a prospect's age has a huge
impact on his draft stock. Typically, younger players are believed
to have a higher ceiling, while older prospects are thought to have
Former Wake Forest forward Jake LaRavia recently found this out
the hard way.
After declaring for the 2022 NBA Draft, LaRavia noticed that he
was incorrectly listed as 22 years old by some prominent media
outlets. In reality, LaRavia is only 20 years old, as he was born
on Nov. 3, 2001. But after one site published this error, it spread
around the internet. Eventually, even Google showed the wrong age
"I didn't really know about the whole age thing and how that
plays a huge role (in how NBA executives value prospects), but it
actually plays a big role in this process,” LaRavia told
BasketballNews. “I was getting a bunch of people hitting me up
like, 'Jake, you're 22?' So, I looked it up on Google, like, ‘How
old is Jake LaRavia?’ and it said 22. I was like, ‘Alright, we
gotta get this fixed.’
“I was just telling a bunch of people that it was wrong, and my
agents did their job and told everyone that I'm 20. We were finally
able to get that fixed, so that was good."
Aaron Reilly, LaRavia's agent, proved to the NBA that his client
is only 20 years old. Ever since, LaRavia has been climbing up
draft boards and mock drafts.
When NBA executives thought LaRavia was 22, he was being
projected as a mid-to-late second-round pick (with some projecting
him to go undrafted). Now, many mock drafts have LaRavia as a
first-rounder (with some projecting him to go as high as No. 20
Some teams knew of LaRavia's real age (and obviously didn't say
anything), but most thought he was 22 years old. Believe it or not,
one team actually told LaRavia's camp that they were disappointed
to learn he was only 20 years old and subsequently showed less
interest, for some reason.
Now that it's cleared up, the 20-year-old has been one of the
biggest risers throughout the pre-draft process. This was
essentially a social experiment to determine how much teams care
about a prospect's age.
After transferring from Indiana State, Jake LaRavia immediately
impacted the Wake Forest team this past season, establishing
himself as a worthy NBA prospect and one of the best shooters in
the ACC. At 6-foot-8, LaRavia is a versatile scorer and rebounder
and has a tremendous feel for the game.
Check out my full interview with LaRavia here, where he talked
about his skill set, modeling his game after Gordon Hayward, his
draft-night plans, his elevator pitch to NBA general managers and