Blue and Gold Illustrated

August 2016

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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IRISH IN THE PROS BY MATT JONES S ome NBA Draft analysts thought former Notre Dame star guard De‑ metrius Jackson would be selected as high as the middle of the first round. Instead, the 6‑2, 194‑pounder was taken by the Boston Celtics in the second round with the No. 45 overall pick in the June 23 draft. "I learned throughout the process that after you get drafted, you're all on the same starting point," Jackson told The Boston Globe. "So I just want to come in, work hard. I know there's a lot of room for improvement, so I just definitely want to get better, learn from all those coming before me. "But for me, a kid coming from nothing, being homeless at one point in time, not having very many things growing up, I think being drafted in itself is really good." Jackson is no stranger to Boston head coach Brad Stevens. Before elect‑ ing to play for Mike Brey at Notre Dame, Jackson was recruited by Ste‑ vens to Butler. The South Bend native, who aver‑ aged 15.8 points, 4.7 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game for the Irish in 2015‑16, now has to fight his way onto an NBA roster, which is no easy task, especially in Boston. The Celtics made six selections on draft night and have a number of young, skilled guards. "Definitely a challenge every day in practice, but that's good," Jackson told Boston reporters. "A challenge is set in place to make you better, so I'll be going up against a lot of great guards, a lot of really good defensive guards, which will only help me get better if I take the right mindset into it." Through July 18, Jackson appeared in eight NBA Summer League games and made three starts for the Celtics. He averaged 5.2 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.0 steal in 16.6 minutes per game while shooting 40.0 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from three‑ point range and 71.4 percent at the free throw line. His best statistical effort came in an 87‑86 win over San Antonio July 7, when he scored 11 points, grabbed three rebounds and made two steals in 24 minutes of action. GRANT TRADED TO BULLS Former Notre Dame star Jerian Grant — the No. 22 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft — is already on the move. The 6‑4, 195‑pound combo guard was traded by the New York Knicks to the Chicago Bulls in June, a move that sent Derrick Rose to New York. Grant, who averaged 5.6 points and 2.3 assists per game as a rookie, be‑ lieves he'll fit right in with second‑ year Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg. "We had a spread, fast‑paced of‑ fense at Notre Dame with a lot of pick‑and‑rolls. That's what I'm used to, so I think I can definitely thrive in this offense," Grant told Chicago reporters. "[Hoiberg] has been tell‑ ing me in practice and games that he wants me to push the pace. Me being a bigger, quicker guard, I think I can really help out." ✦

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