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RealGM Interview: John Jenkins Of Vanderbilt

During his three seasons at Vanderbilt, John Jenkins majored in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Religious Studies. Under his personal biography on Vanderbilt’s website, Jenkins has words of advice for youngsters that he follows.

“Stay humble, holy, and hungry,” said Jenkins.

I spoke with Jenkins to discuss his humbling growth at Vanderbilt and what the future holds for arguably the top shooter in the draft who is hungry to make an impact in the NBA.

Jenkins is thankful he stayed in-state for college and developed under the leadership of coach Kevin Stallings.

“I think playing for coach Stallings was a big key,” said Jenkins. “Him being so tough on me and really challenging me everyday was something I really needed coming into college. Like every other college student, I thought I was going to come in and be great from the start and that wasn’t the case for me. Being at home was really big for me also because I could go home whenever I wanted to and so I kept a level head and had people around me to keep me humble.”

That humble approach has benefited Jenkins throughout the NBA Draft process with his game under the largest degree of scrutiny.

“Some guys say I’m the best shooter in the country, but that’s their opinion. I go out there and just do things on a daily basis,” said Jenkins.

Scouts have compared Jenkins to some of the top NBA shooters including Stephen Curry, J.J. Redick, and Anthony Morrow. Jenkins has a quick release similar to Curry, can shoot off ball screens like Redick and has a sweet stroke like Morrow.

Jenkins is also showing NBA scouts and executives that he is more than just a shooter.

“I think I’m a better ballhandler than people think. I think I’ve been proving that in these workouts,” said Jenkins. “I’m a willing defender. I think my last year in college I defended really well.”

Similar to Redick, Jenkins will have to adjust from being the go-to scorer of his college team to a new role in the NBA as a bench scorer and spot-up shooter in limited minutes.

“I think the biggest thing is I won’t be shooting 15 shots a game. That’s something I don’t really feel would be an adjustment,” said Jenkins. “I would have no problem taking less shots for the betterment of the team.”

Many NBA teams including the Nuggets, Rockets, Heat, Cavaliers, Bulls, Grizzlies, Celtics, Pacers, Hawks, and Mavericks all have worked out Jenkins and feel he can help their team.

Sources around the NBA say Jenkins can land anywhere from the 20-30 range in the first round or just narrowly slip into the early second round.

“(My agent) had some great feedback for me. I don’t know what that means as far as draft range, but everyone wants to be a first round pick, I’d love to be a first round pick,” said Jenkins.

With the NBA Draft a few days away, Jenkins has a message for the teams around the league that are interested in him.

“I give everything I have everyday, I’m that type of guy and I don’t take any days off. I go hard whenever I do, I’m a competitor that loves to win,” said Jenkins. “I have no regrets right now as far as workouts and the combine. I’ve had some good workouts and so I’m just trying to build on that.” 

 

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