Los Angeles Lakers rookie guard Jalen Hood-Schifino has been opening eyes during the first week of training camp.
The one-and-done Indiana star was drafted with the 17th pick in the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft, so he’s expected to be an important part of the franchise’s future relatively soon.
But he seems to be accelerating the process with a title-contending team.
Tell me if this assessment by Lakers head coach Darvin Ham sounds like the Hood-Schifino you know:
“He plays with a lot of moxie, he plays with stability,” Ham said on Wednesday. “You can’t speed him up, you can’t slow him down. He’s strong. He’s a fierce competitor in a silent way. You’re not just gonna do whatever you want to do with him. He’s gonna guard the hell out of the ball, guard off the ball, try to rebound, plays a powerful, powerful game at that position individually. He was phenomenal yesterday. He was actually, I don’t think anyone would disagree if I called him the MVP of day one scrimmaging.”
High praise for our guy Fino ⚪️🔴🦅 pic.twitter.com/FGzQ1ec19t
— Adam Howard (@adamhoward0) October 4, 2023
Hood-Schifino is playing this season alongside NBA greats LeBron James and Anthony Davis. And at point guard he has to try to unseat veteran D’Angelo Russell if he wants to enter the starting five.
Russell was equally impressed with Hood-Schifino.
“If I could give everybody on the team credit, I would,” said Russell via Lakers Nation:. “I will give you one actually. Jalen (Hood-Schifino) played really well today. He made shots and got after it.”
Lakers shooting guard Austin Reaves also had the 2023 Big Ten Freshman of the Year on his mind.
“Everybody looks good, the new guys looked good, Jalen (Hood-Schifino) had a really good day for his first day,” Reaves said.
Hood-Schifino and the Lakers open preseason action on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. ET (NBA TV) against Trayce Jackson-Davis and the Golden State Warriors at the Chase Center in San Francisco.
The Daily Hoosier –“Where Indiana fans assemble when they’re not at Assembly”