Utah Jazz guard Dante Exum has been balling with the likes of CP3 and Russell Westbrook. Also — the latest on Kristen Kenny and Derrick Favors.
Much to the delight of Utah Jazz fans, footage of Donovan Mitchell and Royce O’Neale putting in work with the likes of James Harden and Chris Paul hit the ‘net earlier this month. Unquestionably, there’s something to be gained any time Utah’s up-and-coming guys can share the court with the league’s elite.
However, Mitchell and O’Neale aren’t the only ones balling with the stars. Dante Exum has been doing the same. Most recently, he joined CP3, Ben Simmons, 2017 NBA MVP Russell Westbrook and others for sessions at UCLA.
Clips of the Rico Hines-UCLA runs are all over YouTube; if you’re starved for hoops, I would suggest checking them out. The most recent video dropped on Tuesday and featured Exum taking the ball to the rack on multiple occasions.
His two-handed jam in traffic is sure to ignite the Jazzland masses.
Of course, these are snapshots of pick-up ball we’re talking about, so it’s hard to know what will translate to actual NBA games. Hopefully, Exum getting beat or being out of position on defense doesn’t make that cut. In any case, the simple fact that he’s out there getting court time is huge.
For the first time in a while, Exum isn’t rehabbing an injury this summer. Instead, he’s just playing basketball and working to improve his game.
That alone should pay dividends once things get serious again in October.
Favors’ middle school retires his jersey
Jazz big man Derrick Favors was honored in his home state of Georgia on Wednesday. The Atlanta native was on-hand at Crawford Long Middle School for a ceremony to retire his No. 15 jersey.
The 27-year-old played for Crawford Long as a seventh and eight-grader in 2004 and 2005 before gaining national attention as a McDonald’s All-American at South Atlanta High School.
According to the school’s principal, Lisa Hill, Favors’ middle school jersey retirement isn’t just pomp and circumstance. It’s a way to show students what they can accomplish, as well as the importance of being well-rounded individuals.
Via Atlantic Public Schools —
“This event was needed so students can see what success looks like,” said Principal Lisa Hill. “Yes, it’s one thing to be dedicated in the classroom but you have to be overall dedicated to having great character, having grit, and with that, all things are possible.”
Personally, I can’t think of a better example of having grit and great character than Favors.
Kenney hosting Girls on the Run event
Finally, a rising star on the Utah sports scene continues to keep busy during the NBA offseason. Jazz sideline reporter Kristen Kenney has been announced as the host for Girls on the Run Utah’s 2018 Sneaker Soiree.
The event will take place on Saturday, September 23 at the Rail Event Center in Salt Lake City and serves to celebrate 10 years of the organization’s presence in Utah.
Girls on the Run’s mission is help girls recognize their inner strength and celebrate their uniqueness through a 10-week course that includes dynamic discussions, activities and running games. The program culminates with a service project and a celebratory 5k event.
Kudos to Kristen for always being involved with awesome projects. She’s an asset to the Jazz organization, to be sure.
For more information on the Sneaker Soiree, go to GirlsOntheRun.org