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Former WNY star, current NBA player sees dead people

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

Buffalo-born NBA player Lazar Hayward claims to have the power to see dead people, Deadspin reports.

Recently signed by the Minnesota Timberwolves—Hayward’s second stint with the club—the former Marquette star admitted something a little curious to reporters at Minnesota’s Star Tribune.

According to Jerry Zgoda, Hayward was encouraged to meet with spiritual mediums after learning that a friend had allegedly communicated with his brother, dead for six years, through the same avenue. Following his advice, Hayward has had some luck.

“I’ve actually been able to see a spirit,” Hayward said. “I can’t talk to them yet, but I have seen them.”

[Hayward] has spent the past two months pursuing a path of what he calls “meditation and spiritual healing and living in an enlightened state” while also waiting for a road back to the NBA.

The Star Tribune further noted that Hayward has lost 15 pounds since his last term with the ‘Wolves and sprouted significant facial hair, a Ricky Williams-esque transformation that he claims has allowed him to deal with the pressures of basketball and life.

A graduate of Buffalo Traditional High School, where he directed the now-defunct Buffalo school to the state tournament in Glens Falls in his lone year of HS basketball, Hayward spent a year at Notre Dame Prep after only receiving an offer from SUNY Fredonia following his Traditional career. The star guard wasn’t even an All-Western New York first team selection in his senior year—talk about a late bloomer.

The 6’6 swingman, a rugged defender and underrated scorer, blossomed at Marquette University and was drafted No. 30 in the 2010 NBA Draft, and he’s since been the property of the Timberwolves, Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder during his short pro career.

Minnesota head coach Rick Adelman didn’t exactly have glowing praise for Hayward, but he’s at least glad to have him as a part of the organization. “[Hayward] gives us a guy at that position who gives us size that we don’t have. He gives us someone who can come in and if we have to use him, we can use him,” Adelman said to Zgoda of the Star Tribune.

While this story definitely borders on the bizarre, it’s encouraging to see that Hayward has managed to claw his way back into the NBA after being waived several times and touring the country in search of a job. Jonny Flynn and Hayward are the only two Western New York natives currently in the NBA.

TAGGED: deadspin, lazar hayward, marquette university, minnesota timberwolves, rick adelman, star tribune, traditional high school

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