SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – For Utah Jazz rookies Taylor Hendricks, Keyonte George and Brice Sensabaugh, having each other to lean on as they enter the NBA has been a blessing.
“When you come into the NBA, you’re coming into a new world basically,” said George. “So just to go through this new experience with two other guys that I’ve known for many years, it puts you in a sense of being comfortable.”
“We push each other no matter what we’re doing,” added Hendricks. “We’ve been doing runs getting up and down just to stay in shape. But even then, it’s still competitive.”
George was extremely impressive in Summer League, averaging, 18.7 points, 5.3 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 26.4 minutes. He wants to show he can be an NBA point guard night in and night out.
“I know I’m young, and you can say that I haven’t done anything in this league yet,” George said. “But I think day in and day out, I’m putting in the work and I’m overly locked in. At some point, I’ll be able to gain that trust and be able to lead this team.”
George says he wants to win the Rookie of the Year award, but he also knows that he has to be patient.
“Not getting frustrated with myself,” he said. “Understanding that it’s a learning process and it’s going to be a long journey.”
Hendricks, the ninth overall pick in the NBA Draft, didn’t play in Summer League because of a hamstring injury. But he’s been healthy for a couple months now and is eager to show what he can do.
“Just playing my role,” Hendricks said. “Not being too worried about how many minutes I play, and just try to help the team win. It is crazy that 12 months ago, I was worried about having a good enough team to go to the Big Dance. And now I’m getting ready to start an NBA season.”
Sensabaugh, the 28th overall selection in the NBA Draft, is fully recovered from a knee injury that force him to miss Summer League. But he’s been fully healthy for a couple months as well.
“Obviously it’s a different level, so I have to adjust,” Sensabaugh said. “From day one, I’m just looking to make an impact wherever I can. My whole goal is to complement the vets, hit open shots and do what I can do. I want to show some of my game, play defense, whatever I have to do to just win games.”
The Jazz will tip off the preseason Sunday, October 8 in Hawaii against the Los Angeles Clippers.