Ignas Brazdeikis
AP Photo

The high school coach of New York Knicks rookie Ignas Brazdeikis praises the young ballplayer as the NBA Summer League recently concluded.

With the No. 47 pick in this year’s NBA Draft, the New York Knicks selected small forward Ignas Brazdeikis out of the University of Michigan. Seeing how he performed in the NBA Summer League, there’s a possibility that Brazdeikis could become one of the steals of this year’s draft.

Having tallied an average of 15.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, and two assists through five games, Brazdeikis shot 51% from the field and 50% from behind the arc. His 30-point game against the Phoenix Suns caught the eyes of many.

However, Brazdeikis’ former high school coach didn’t seem surprised with what Brazdeikis was able to do on the court.

“He’s always been able to score,” Holy Trinity High School basketball coach Andrew Saulez said, per Ian Begley of SNY.” Some of the stuff that you saw at Michigan and at Summer League, the buckets that he gets at weird angles, using the glass, getting into the lane, spinning and scoring — he’s been doing that since Grade 6 or 7.”

New York also selected guard RJ Barrett out of Duke with the No. 3 overall pick. Of course, that was the selection that was more publicized. Barrett was a star at Duke and is expected to come in and be a star on the court as he grows in his first years in the NBA.

However, Saulez believes Brazdeikis is the complete player, personality and all.

“They’ve got a good one,” Saulez said. “Family, work ethic, passion for the game, (he’s) level headed. He’s not the kind of kid that’s going to go off the rails with success. Hopefully, he ends up being good enough basketball-wise to make an impact in the league. But all those other intangibles, that kid has every one of them.”

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.