Jalen Hood-Schifino Believes Work Ethic & Character Were Main Reasons Why Lakers Drafted Him
Jalen Hood-Schifino, Lakers
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

There were a lot of rumors surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers heading into the 2023 NBA Draft and whether they might potentially trade their first-round draft pick. But instead of moving up or down, the Lakers stayed at their spot at 17 and selected Indiana guard Jalen Hood-Schifino.

Hood-Schifino is a promising young prospect who can play both guard positions, operates well in the pick-and-roll, defends at a high level and is a high IQ player. But with the Lakers being a team looking to win right now, there are questions as to whether they would have been better off dealing the pick for a veteran who can play right now.

But Hood-Schifino believes he is the exact type of player the Lakers were looking for, noting his work ethic and character as reasons why L.A. selected him.

“I think Rob pretty much said it, I think when I met with them just my personality, the way I was genuine. Just the way I acted, I think that caught attraction and then obviously they watch film and see you play and things like that. But I think just my character and the way I work. I’m always gonna bring it every day. I’m a high-character kid and I want to learn. I’m a sponge so I think really just my work ethic and my habits.”

It is always good to see this kind of confidence from a rookie. Hood-Schifino knows he will have to work hard, but is willing to do just that and show off what he can bring to this Lakers team from day one.

Hood-Schifino also talked about how great it is to be drafted to a team like the Lakers that is ready to compete for a championship right away.

“I think being a 20-year-old kid getting drafted to the Lakers, obviously an organization that’s had plenty of success over the years and an organization that’s on pace to win another championship, I think that’s kind of like a dream for a kid so I think just getting in and learning from everyone in the organization, LeBron being one of the best players ever, and the rest of the guys, I think that will only help us and push us to be great.”

With Darvin Ham as head coach, the most important thing will always be defense and Hood-Schifino certainly has the tools to shine on that end of the floor. At 6’4″ with a 6’10” wingspan and weighing a solid 217 pounds at the draft combine, Hood-Schifino should have the ability to defend multiple positions. At Indiana he showed the ability to stick with his man as well as create turnovers.

The big thing many will be watching with Hood-Schifino, however, will be his perimeter shot. In college he thrived in the midrange but struggled from 3-point range, knocking down just 33.3% from deep. If he can shoot consistently from deep, along with all of his other tools, he very well could be a real contributor for this Lakers team in his rookie season.

Lakers rookie Jalen Hood-Schifino calls himself an ‘all-around player’

After being drafted by the Lakers, Hood-Schifino did speak on what he brings to the table, calling himself an all-around player who checks ‘a lot of boxes.’

Hood-Schifino noted that he is a three-level scorer who will be able to defend basically any position. The Lakers selected him with those same hopes that he will bring a lot to the table and improve the team as a whole.

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