The NBA Draft process is a once in a lifetime experience for those who go through it. While there are many broad similarities between the experiences of players during this process like hectic travel schedules and grueling pre-draft training, each player takes something different away from the process. I decided to talk to 10 different players eligible for this year’s draft to ask them all the same set of questions to use as a means of comparing their experiences.
Up today is former Vanderbilt shooting guard John Jenkins. In his three years at Vanderbilt, Jenkins was known as one of the best shooters in the nation, making nearly four three-pointers per game this season. He improved his game every year evolving from a spot-up shooter as a freshman to a better all-around scorer and willing defender at the end of his junior year, and this evolution in his game made him feel ready to leave for the NBA.
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Dime: Where did you do your pre-draft training?
John Jenkins: I worked out in Nashville while I was still finishing up school with my trainer Drew Hanlen from Pure Sweat basketball. I did all my skill work with him and did some strength and agility training at D1 Sports. Then I went out to Santa Barbara and trained at UCSB and at Peak Performance Project.
Dime: Describe an average day during pre-draft training?
JJ: Woke up around 7:30 and work out around 8:00. We did the shooting portion of the workout for like an hour so we were done at nine. Then we went to P3 at about 10:00 and did weights for an hour and a half. Then we came back, ate lunch, took a quick nap. In the afternoon, around 2:30 or 3:00, we’d work out for an hour and a half. We were always done around four or five o’clock, and being in Santa Barbara, you’d think we would go out and want to do something at night, but it was so tiring every day. So I usually went to lay down and watch the playoffs then go to sleep and do it all over again. On Wednesday, we didn’t have P3 though and we had Sundays off.
Dime: What was your diet like the last two months?
JJ: Aw man. I haven’t had a sweet or anything fried in two and a half or three months. I’ve been eating a lot of grilled chicken, a lot of salmon, lot of vegetables, brown rice, baked potatoes. I was just trying to make the right choices because it is the most important time of my life.
Dime: What area of your game do you think you improved the most during the last two months?
JJ: I would say I got my hops back and I’m more athletic. Working with P3 really helped me out and got me stronger and more physically ready for the game. In the team workouts I really think teams got to see my athleticism and the way I moved so much better, which was something they didn’t see during the season.
Dime: What do you think the one thing is about you that stood out to teams during these workouts?
JJ: Of course, they know I’m a shooter, but I always tried to verify that when I would go to these workouts. I always tried to make sure I shot the ball well because I am a shooter first and foremost so wanted to make that impression. Then I think my defense also. My freshman and sophomore year my defense wasn’t that good, but it got a lot better during my junior year and teams were able to see that carry over to these workouts. They really only saw me play defense well for one year in college and that’s a question a lot of teams had especially with the position I play and the type of players I’ll be guarding. So I’ve been doing a really good job of that and trying to cut off any questions about that aspect of my game.
Dime: Who was the toughest player you had to guard in a workout?
JJ: Probably Jared Cunningham. Jared’s tough because he gets to the lane really well and has a quick first step. Everybody else I had played against in college or working out in Santa Barbara, and I played Jared once in college but didn’t guard him that much.
Dime: What was the weirdest interview question you got?
JJ: I didn’t get too many weird ones like a lot of my friends did. My weirdest one was probably have you ever been arrested or do you have kids, that was the weirdest for me, but nothing out of the box really.