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Exclusive: Utah Jazz Rookie Keyonte George Speaks With Jeremiah Jensen

Jul 3, 2023, 6:16 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – After arriving in Salt Lake City for the first time as a member of the Utah Jazz, rookie Keyonte George sat down with KSL Sports Live‘s Jeremiah Jensen to discuss his path to the NBA.

George was introduced by the Jazz on June 26. Less than a week later, the former Baylor standout officially signed his rookie contract with Utah.

During Jensen’s conversation with George, the new Jazzman talked about his family’s support, prep and college careers, time with USA Basketball, managing expectations, and his goals with the Jazz.

“I understand I’m playing for something, you know, bigger than myself,” George said of his family and support group.

George was a top-rated prospect coming out of high school and had high expectations going to Baylor, a program with a recent national title. George said that the expectations put on him are lower than those that he puts on himself.

The new Jazzman has had success at the high school, college, and international levels of basketball. George helped Team USA capture a gold medal at the FIBA 3×3 Under-18 World Cup. He earned MVP honors at the event.

After arriving in Utah, George said that he was most excited to interact with Jazz fans, some of which he’d already met at the Salt Lake City International Airport.

George has multiple goals for his first NBA season, including winning NBA Rookie of the Year, earning the trust of his coaches and teammates, play winning basketball, and help the Jazz return to the postseason.

For more of Jensen’s conversation with George, watch the video above. Check out KSL Sports Live every night on KSL 5 TV.

About Keyonte George

Despite being listed at 6-foot-4 and 185 lbs, George has one of the better frames among first-year guards projected to be selected in the lottery.

RELATED: Utah Jazz Draft Baylor Guard Keyonte George With 16th Pick

The Baylor freshman has a stocky, strong build that ought to be able to handle the rigors of the NBA game, even early in his career.

Though he’s not an elite athlete, George has excellent body control and navigates the court with the ball in his hands, getting to his spots where he excels as a scorer, averaging 15.3 points per game.

 

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The guard is an adept scorer with the ball in his hands showing strong handles and an ability to get to his spots on the floor and in rhythm. He has a chance to be one of the more prolific scorers from this draft as he matures, and his game already resembles that of some of the league’s best perimeter players.

While consistency remains an issue, George scored 20 or more in 12 of his 33 appearances at Baylor and knocked down multiple three-pointers in 66 percent of his games.

The freshman had more games (13) in which he hit three or more three-pointers than he did one or fewer (11).

George’s 4.2 rebounds are a strong number, and 79 percent free-throw shooting on 4.5 attempts per game.

Defensively, the freshman’s frame and strong balance made him a steady defender. As he ages, it wouldn’t be an enormous surprise if he became a very capable defender at the NBA level.

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Exclusive: Utah Jazz Rookie Keyonte George Speaks With Jeremiah Jensen