Wednesday was a special day for Tyrese Maxey, one that he’s worked countless hours over years to make possible.

“A lot of preparation went into this moment, a lot of prayers, and a lot of blessing,” the 76ers rookie said of making his NBA debut. “I thank God every morning when I wake up. I really appreciate him helping me get to this point.”

The Sixers entertained the Washington Wizards in a season opener for both teams. The 20-year-old from Garland, Texas, discussed the upcoming milestone following Wednesday morning’s shootaround.

He spoke to his coach at Kentucky, John Calipari, who told Maxey that he will be successful and is built for the moment.

“My teammates, all of them, have been very, very helpful,” Maxey said. “I mean, they just all have been telling me to stay level-headed and stay solid. ... You only get one first game. [They’ve said] enjoy this opportunity.”

Maxey was the 21st pick in the NBA draft on Nov. 18. The combo guard has excelled in a reserve role in the Sixers’ two preseason games. He had 11 points on 4-for-7 shooting to go with five rebounds in the Sixers’ 113-107 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday. That came three days after he had eight points on 4-for-6 shooting to go with three assists in a 108-99 victory over the Boston Celtics.

But those were preseason games.

Playing in an NBA game that counted, the moment he dreamed about, came against the Wizards. He didn’t have any expectations in regard to minutes played. Maxey was just focused on staying ready for whenever his name was called and being the biggest cheerleader.

As it turned out, he scored 6 points on 3-for-6 shooting, with 2 assists and 2 rebounds in 11 minutes in his NBA debut.

“Everyone has a dream, and I’m blessed to say that I made it,” he said. “Now that I’m here, I’m not going to stop working and try to maximize my potential.”

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Maxey has been putting in hard work for years under the supervision of his father, Tyrone, a former player at Washington State. His dad was one of his assistant coaches at South Garland High School before spending the 2017-18 season as the recruiting coordinator at SMU.

The hours Maxey put into practice enabled him to become a McDonald’s All-American and Texas’ Mr. Basketball in 2019. He was a 2020 second-team All-SEC pick after his lone season at Kentucky.

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“The work is the best thing,” Maxey said. “What you do in the dark always come to light. So I just fell in love with the work.

“Everything y’all see in the game time, I put the work in in the dark. Like I said, so it can come to the light.”