The Indiana Pacers are in the midst of rebuilding, and adding a player determined to be as successful as Quebec’s Benedict Mathurin will allow them to speed up the process.
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Head coach Rick Carlisle was a first-hand witness to the player’s passion for basketball as his team picked sixth overall in the NBA draft on Thursday.
When he trained in front of the team on June 10, Mathurin impressed the entire coaching staff with his physical ability. Only one aspect did not go well with the 20-year-old: his three-point shooting performance.
Having succeeded in less than 20 shots in 25 attempts downtown, Mathurin enjoyed the moment in the locker room, while in the shower and during a meal with his future employers, Carlisle said at a press conference Friday, his story featured on the Pacers. website.
Finally the University of Arizona producer asked if he could return to training at Ascension St. Vincent Center that night, in order to correct some shortcomings. It was Carlisle who offered his help and the two men worked together for an hour, before Mathurin had to board his plane the next morning.
“He told me a lot about the man he is, with his great intellectual curiosity for the game, and his love for basketball. The guys who have a chance to really succeed and make it in this league have a real fascination with self-discovery and improvement. He is one of those guys,” Carlisle said:
In addition to Mathurin, the Pacers added Kendall Brown and Andrew Nymbard in the second round. The coach explained that the three players can play in different positions. He already sees Montreal as a full-back or winger.
“They have ingenuity, they have a love for the game, and they all have a dynamic element in their repertoire,” he describes, which is downright charming.
With a core that includes Tyrese Haliburton (22) and Chris Duarte (25) and the addition of significant pieces like Mathurin, Pacers will present a young and dynamic face next season.
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