|John Jenkins selected 23rd by Atlanta Hawks|
|Thursday, June 28, 2012|
Former Station Camp and Vanderbilt standout John Jenkins was drafted in the first round of Thursday night’s 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.
Jenkins said on his Twitter account: "So blessed to be a part of the Hawks' organization. Hard work does pay off!!"
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.
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.
“Straight up shooter," Rece Davis said while anchoring ESPN’s draft coverage. “I mean John Jenkins can flat fill it up.”
His measurables at the NBA Draft Combine, where he was one of 60 players invited, were 6-4.25 inches with shoes, 212 pounds, a 6-8.5 wingspan, an 8.3-5 reach, 7.1 percent body fat and a hand length and width of nine inches.
“The Hawks land the best pure shooter in the draft (last year he shot 10 percent better from beyond the arc than Bradley Beal did),” NBADraft.net’s Seth Sommerfield said in his analysis. “He makes up for his lack of physical tools with a high basketball IQ, specifically knowing how to play off the ball. He might have some issues defending the 2-guard spot on the NBA level, but he should have a long career as a 3-point specialist.”
ESPN analyst Jay Bilas called Jenkins the “best shooter in the draft” who sets hits feet quickly and his range is unlimited.
“He’s not an elite level athlete,” Bilas said during Thursday’s television coverage. “I still think he needs to work on putting the ball down on the floor and attacking and getting to midrange and being able to pull up and hit. But if he catches and you give him a little bit of time to be able to get that thing off, he’s got a quick release and he’s going to make it.”
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.
See what others around the country have to say about Jenkins’ selection.
— Corby A. Yarbrough, Sports Editor