Jordan Schakel starts pre-draft NBA workouts with Warriors

[ad_1]

Growing up in Southern California, Jordan Schakel was like pretty much every other kid who ever dribbled a basketball. He idolized Kobe Bryant.

“But there came a certain point where I realized I couldn’t do what Kobe did,” Schakel said. “More realistically, I started watching Klay.”

That’s Klay Thompson, the five-time NBA All-Star and three-time NBA champion with the Golden State Warriors who also is 6-foot-6 and also has an affinity for shooting the ball. Schakel modeled his shot after him, the wide base, the high motion, the quick release, the exaggerated follow-through.

So you can imagine what it was like Thursday for the SDSU alum to participate in his first post-graduation NBA workout … wearing Warriors gear … in front of Warriors coaches … at the Warriors’ practice facility.

“Amazing,” Schakel said in a Zoom session with media, adorned in a grey Warriors T-shirt. “A dream come true.”

It was the start of what Schakel hopes is a lengthy, and productive, pre-draft process. He said he has a few more team workouts scheduled over the coming weeks but has yet to hear from either of the draft combines in Chicago later this month, one run by the G League and one by the NBA. The top players in the former can earn spots in the latter.

Schakel currently doesn’t appear in most mock drafts, but neither did Boise State wing Justinian Jessop, the Mountain West’s career leader in 3-pointers. Jessop was a surprise second-round pick, 51st overall, last year … by the Warriors. (With the G League reduced to a month, Jessop is playing for the Illawarra Hawks in Australia’s National Basketball League.)

Schakel signed a contract with the Octagon agency, which represents Steph Curry and dozens of other NBA players but also has deep connections to place clients in Europe and other overseas leagues.

“My expectation is to get the most out of this process that I could possibly get, play as well as I can, and then I’ll end up where I’m supposed to be,” Schakel said. “But right now I’m doing NBA workouts, and that’s where my focus is.”

Details of the workouts aren’t shared, but the guy who went 96-31 in four years at SDSU seemed pleased with how things went.

“I hope I showed them, obviously, that I can shoot the ball,” said Schakel, who averaged 14.4 points last season while shooting 46.1 percent behind the arc. “But I like to compete, I like to play basketball, I find joy playing this game. Everywhere I’ve gone, my team has won. I take great pride in just being a winning basketball player and doing the little things, whatever it takes, whether it’s making shots, box outs, rebounding, picking up a teammate. I hope I showed them that today.”

Asked by a Bay Area reporter if he considers himself a gym rat, Schakel didn’t hesitate: “Yes, I would.”

Which made it slightly surprising that he spent three weeks away from the game after the season-ending loss against Syracuse in the NCAA Tournament before moving to Phoenix to train over the past two months.

“I think it was the first time in my life where it wasn’t that hard (to be away from the game),” Schakel said. “I kind of knew I needed a break. … I took quite a bit of time off, just because of the nature of last season was pretty hectic and crazy. It was definitely fun to get back into it and back to playing basketball.”

The six-player workout Thursday had a Mountain West flavor, with Boise State’s Derrick Alston Jr. and Fresno State’s Orlando Robinson. Also participating were JaQuori McLaughlin (UC Santa Barbara), McKinley Wright IV (Colorado) and Jericho Sims (Texas).

“It was great, seeing another guy from the Mountain West,” Alston said. “At Boise State, we had our battles, for sure. It was great seeing a familiar face out there working hard. He had a good workout as well.”



[ad_2]

Source link

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap