As a fellow native of the DMV space, Jalen Smith studied Kevin Durant‘s basketball profession carefully. So with a chance of ending up on the Nets — who possess the No. 19 total choose — when the 2020 NBA Draft ideas off Nov. 18, Smith didn’t shrink back from what changing into a teammate alongside Durant would imply.
“Simply having the ability to play with KD, that is a dream come true,” Smith stated on a Zoom video convention name with reporters — via the New York Publish’s Brian Lewis — referencing the Washington, D.C., native and 10-time All-Star ahead. “Clearly, rising up, watching him a lot and just about simply studying from him — being the identical measurement as him — simply having the ability to get a lot from him that he is finished within the league and proceed to work and simply compete in opposition to him could be large and an excellent factor for me and my expertise.”
A Baltimore native and five-star recruit for the 2018 class, Smith went to Mount Saint Joseph Excessive Faculty and subsequently attended Maryland. By means of two seasons with the Terrapins from 2018-20, Smith averaged 13.5 factors, eight.6 rebounds and 1.eight blocks over a 64-game profession.
Amongst different groups, the 6-foot-10 energy ahead stated he interviewed with the Nets — one in all his first. Since then, the Nets have parted methods with former head coach Kenny Atkinson and employed successor Steve Nash, however a lot has stayed the identical as assistant Jacque Vaughn stayed on and common supervisor Sean Marks continues to steer the franchise’s entrance workplace.
“Sure, Brooklyn Nets had been in all probability one in all my first interviews I had,” Smith said. “They’re an excellent group. I preferred all of the coaches. They had been enjoyable and up entrance with me, and even joking with me loads. It was just about (everyone), lots of people, I might say the GM and coaches.”