Nate Hinton gets a NBA contract that creates a mini-Gastonia reunion, Charlotte’s Devon Dotson also signs

By Richard Walker

Wednesday’s NBA Draft lasted into Thursday morning.

For Gastonia’s Nate Hinton, what initially appeared disappointing has turned into a professional basketball opportunity and a mini-Gastonia reunion.

Nate Hinton posted this image on twitter at 1:07 a.m. on Thursday after agreeing to a free agent contract with the Dallas Mavericks.

Hinton, a 2018 Gaston Day School graduate, agreed to a free agent contract with the Dallas Mavericks early Thursday morning and will join an organization that includes Gastonia’s Darrell Armstrong.

Armstrong, a 1986 Ashbrook High graduate and one of five Gaston County products to play in the NBA, has been a Mavericks assistant coach since the 2008-09 season highlighted by Dallas’ 2011 NBA championship-winning season. Armstrong, the NBA Comeback Player of the Year and NBA Sixth Man of the Year winner as a player in 1999, played 14 seasons in the NBA with the Orlando Magic, New Orleans Pelicans, Mavericks, Indiana Pacers and New Jersey Nets before becoming an assistant coach.

Hinton, who declared for the NBA after two years at Houston, was projected as a possible late second round draft pick. He announced his good fortune on twitter at 1:07 a.m. Thursday.

Hinton tweeted “GOD YOU THE GREATEST” and showed a picture of himself in a Mavericks’ jersey.

A 6-foot-5 guard who also played at Forestview and Charlotte’s Northside Christian high schools, Hinton averaged 8.8, 6.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists during his two-year career at the University of Houston. He averaged 10.6 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists for the Cougars last season and he was a 2019 All-American Athletic Conference freshman team selection and second team All-AAC pick in 2020.

Hinton was one of three local products who hoped to be drafted on Wednesday night.

Former West Charlotte High standout Patrick Williams, who played for Gastonia’s Leonard Hamilton at Florida State, went No. 4 overall to the Chicago Bulls while Hinton and Charlotte Providence Day’s Devon Dotson went undrafted.

Dotson, a 6-foot-2 guard, agreed to a free agent contract with the Chicago Bulls shortly after the draft concluded.