Jazz Rookies Bring Familiarity With One Another To Utah

Jun 26, 2023, 5:02 PM | Updated: Jun 27, 2023, 11:44 am

SALT LAKE CITY – Though Utah Jazz fans may not yet be familiar with the three newest rookies on the roster, Taylor Hendricks, Keyonte George, and Brice Sensabaugh already know one another.

The Jazz selected the three newcomers in the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft, and while all three attended different colleges, they’ve risen through the basketball ranks together.

Hendricks, George, and Sensabaugh each discussed their pre-existing relationship with one another at their introductory press conference on Monday.

Sensabaugh Talks Jazz Rookies Hendricks, George

The Jazz’s 28th pick in the first round of the draft, Brice Sensabaugh, was a standout one-and-done player at Ohio State, where he was one of the best scorers in college basketball.

Before joining the Buckeyes, the high-scoring wing grew up in Orlando, Florida, where he played with and against fellow Jazz rookie Taylor Hendricks.

“I actually played with I’m in AAU in my 17s year, played on the same team, we know each other’s game, and we had a bunch of fun together in EYBL,” Sensabaugh said. “I am looking forward to it for sure.”

Sensabaugh led the Florida Rebels in scoring with 17.4 points per game as the team’s number one option while Hendricks averaged 10.4 points.

“On a lot of teams he’s been on, he’s kind of been the second or third option,” Sensabaugh said of Hendricks. “He’s always been good, but I knew going to a school like UCF where he could be the guy, I knew he’d kind of take off from there.”

While Sensabaugh grew up in Florida near Hendricks, he met Keyonte George during the pre-draft process.

“He’s actually in my agency, so I’ve been working out with him for the past month-month and a half so were super close,” Sensabaugh said. “I’ve been with him all day today, so we’ve just talked about [joining the Jazz], and I think it’s definitely a positive that I can go through this with a couple of guys that I know.

Sensabaugh said the knee injury that ended his season at Ohio State is feeling better, and he’s hopeful to play during the Summer League if he’s cleared by the Jazz medical staff.

George On Sensabaugh

Though he didn’t grow up in Florida with Hendricks and Sensabaugh, Keyonte George noted that he’s grateful for the opportunity to have two other rookies to share the rookie experience with.

“It’s great to go through this transition with two other guys, I’m blessed to do it with them,” George said. “A lot of guys get to do it by themselves, I’ve got people to go through it with, I’ve got people by my side that are going through the same thing.”

Working together during the pre-draft process, George said he got to know Sensabaugh on and off the floor.

“Humble guy, goofy, he’s just everything, carries himself the right way, family guy, all the right characteristics that you want,” George said.

While their friendship has blossomed off the floor, George made it sound as if their competitiveness on the court may have had a different outcome.

“We’ve been at it a couple of ties between the lines, but he’s not going to tell you all that.”

Hendricks Happy To Rejoin Sensabaugh

Hendricks was the Jazz’s ninth overall pick, and after being selected, was able to sit back and watch the draft unfold, hoping to see his fellow Floridian land in an advantageous spot.

“Before the Jazz had the pick, I thought, ‘Man, Brice hasn’t came off the board yet, I might be able to play with him,'” Hendricks recalled. “Then they picked him, and I was ecstatic just to team up with him again — the type of guy he is, and the player he is, I was pretty happy.”

Hendricks didn’t work out for the Jazz during his visit to Utah before the draft due to a minor hamstring injury but said he’s hoping to take the court with his fellow rookies during summer league.

“I just had a workout by myself, and there was no pain at all. I would love to play in summer league, but we’re going to take it one day at a time.”

When Is The Salt Lake Summer League?

The Salt Lake City Summer League will be returning for the eighth consecutive year at the Delta Center between July 3-6.

The Jazz, Memphis Grizzlies, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Philadelphia 76ers will all be competing in the showcase.

July 3: 5 p.m. Memphis Grizzlies vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Jule 3: 7 p.m. Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Utah Jazz

July 5: 5 p.m. Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

Jule 5: 7 p.m. Philadelphia 76ers vs. Utah Jazz

July 6: 5 p.m. Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Philadelphia 76ers

July 6: 7 p.m. Memphis Grizzlies vs. Utah Jazz

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

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Jazz Rookies Bring Familiarity With One Another To Utah