Dante Exum hoping to return strong next season

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – After missing the playoffs for the fourth straight year, the Utah Jazz players say they are already looking forward to next season. None more so than Dante Exum, because this year was not a good one for him.

“This year has been a long process of learning.” said Exum.

Unfortunately, Exum had to do his learning from the sideline, not on the court. He missed the entire season after tearing his ACL last summer while playing for his native country of Australia. But he used the time to increase his upper body strength and to work on his shooting.
 
“It was pretty much all I could do, definitely at the start, it was a lot of upper body lifting and form shooting,” Exum said, “so I’ve definitely added on some strength and size.”
 
Head coach Quin Snyder has been impressed with Exum’s work. “It’s not fair at all to Dante’s going to come back as a “quote unquote” shooter,” the coach said.  “What I think you will see Dante coming back as is a player that is determined. I think the process that he’s having to go through I believe will make him better and make him tougher mentally and make him more consistent.”
 
“We very much look forward to Dante’s return to health,” Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey added. “Quin noted the improved shooting, I think he’s quite anxious as are we to move forward from this past off-season.”
 
Exum said he will continue to be an aggressive player as he gets stronger physically and mentally.
 
“Yeah, It’s more mental than anything”, he said. “I don’t think it will change, I’ve been confident in my knee for a while.”
 
This coming summer, Exum has a chance to play in the Olympics, and he said he’ll try to do that, and not worry about another injury in a similar situation.
 
“I think the biggest thing for me in the mental side is not to shy away from it, just because I think I might get injured,” he stated. “I’m already defeating myself if I say that, so if I’m not ready, I’m not ready, if I think I’m ready it’s a probability that I’ll do it, because I’m not going to go in with the mindset that if I play, I’m going to get injured.”

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