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Thybulle, who lost his mother to cancer earlier this year, kept her in his memory.

By Emily Caron
June 20, 2019

Washington forward Matisse Thybulle held back tears on Thursday night as he spoke about how his late mother inspired him after being selected by the Celtics with the No. 20 pick in the 2019 NBA draft. Although Thybulle will wind up with the Sixers via a trade, he walked across the stage with his mother in his memory.

"I wish she was here to see it," Thybulle told ESPN.

The Naismith National Defensive Player of the Year's mother was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia during Thybulle's senior season.

From Sports Illustrated's Greg Bishop's story on Thybulle earlier this season:

"The cancer went into remission, then came back. Elizabeth died the day before her son’s final home game. Senior Night. Teammates carried Matisse onto the floor but he did play one of his best games, even though he remembers only grief."

Thybulle's father, Greg, told Bishop that Matisse is the spitting image of his late mother and shares her same personality.

A four-year starter at Washington, Thybulle averaged 9.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game this season and was one of the country's best defensive players. 

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