|Hawks GM, coach know they got a shooter in Jenkins|
|Tuesday, July 3, 2012|
John Jenkins will not have to go far to start his NBA career.
The former Station Camp and Vanderbilt standout was drafted in the first round of the June 28 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks with the 23rd overall pick.
The shooting guard, who left Vanderbilt a year early after leading the SEC in scoring each of the last two seasons and helping guide the Commodores to the SEC Tournament championship as SEC Tournament MVP, is most notably known for his shooting prowess. Many draft experts consider Jenkins the best shooter in this year’s draft class.
He led the league in scoring the past two seasons and led the nation in 3-pointers made per game (3.8) while shooting 44 percent from beyond the arc last season.
And the accolades for Jenkins being the best shooter in the draft came from all directions.
“He’s a guy that can really shoot the basketball,” said Hawks new general manager Danny Ferry on the team’s Website. “He should open the court for our group of guys that are out there on the court playing, and can almost turn it into almost like a four-on-four game because you’re not going to leave him. So that’s great.”
Jenkins is the first Vanderbilt player to be selected in the first round since Will Perdue went 11th overall to the Chicago Bulls in 1988.
Jenkins worked out for 14 teams in the run up to this year’s NBA Draft, including the Hawks twice. The Hawks were also one of the last teams who had him in for a workout.
“He came in twice for us and this kid can flat out make shots,” Drew said on the Hawks’ Website. “And we’re certainly looking for someone who can put the ball in the basket and he’s probably the best in the country at it.”
Drew said he thinks Jenkins is ready to step in and help immediately and perhaps that is one reason the organization felt comfortable trading away 2-guard Joe Johnson after the draft.
“You can see that he has a passion about playing,” Drew said. “He’s a guy that can certainly get in the rotation right away. He’s a hard worker and a great kid. We’re very excited about John Jenkins being there (at the No. 23 spot) because we didn’t think he’s be there. I’m a very happy coach.”
Jenkins will wear the No. 12, the same number he wore at Station Camp. He asked for 23, his number at Vanderbilt, and 21, but both are retired numbers in the Hawks' organization (Lou Hudson and Dominique Wilkins).
Jenkins was one of three Vanderbilt players selected. Festus Ezeli was selected 30th by the Golden State Warriors with the last pick in the first round and Jeffrey Taylor followed as the first pick of the second round when he was taken by the Charlotte Bobcats with the 31st pick.
— Corby A. Yarbrough, Sports Editor