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Utah Jazz fans, are you ready to meet the Breakfast Club?

This is not a story about how Molly Ringwald is a huge Utah Jazz fan or that Emilio Estevez will be attending an upcoming Utah Jazz game. Apologies to all the ’80s film buffs that were expecting something related to John Hughes’ “The Breakfast Club.”

The Jazz’s Breakfast Club is a group of players, coaches and staff that slip into the gym hours before the rest of the team to get in extra work.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Jared Butler, Juancho Hernangomez, Xavier Sneed, Udoka Azubuike before he was injured and Trent Forrest before he started getting regular rotation minutes have all been a part of the early risers that call themselves the “Breakfast Club” along with members of the coaching and DAV (player development, advance scouting, video) staff like Irv Roland, Keyon Dooling, Jeff Watkinson, Bryan Bailey and Sanjay Lumpkin.

Depth on display with Juancho Hernangomez and Nickeil Alexander-Walker stepping up

Jazz All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell is often in awe at how much work the Breakfast Club puts in.

“You don’t see it, but every day before shootaround ... they’re in there at 8, 8:30, working out hard, sometimes playing 2-on-2, 3-on-3 and then staying after practice to work out again,” Mitchell said. “Then they come to the gym and work out again, and then they possibly play in the game.”

Mitchell made the joke that the reason Hernangomez air-balled a 3-pointer in a recent game is because he’d worked out three times that day.

But jokes aside, the group that continues to work hard behind the scenes, when there is no promise of game minutes or a place in the rotation has earned a reputation for keeping players ready and producing impressive results.

The latest sign of the Breakfast Club’s success was the defensive effort of Hernangomez and Alexander-Walker and Alexander-Walker’s fourth-quarter scoring flurry in the Jazz’s win over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday. But that didn’t mean that work was over as the group knew that they would be back in the gym the next day, the first ones to turn on the lights before the rest of the team was in the building.

New with the Jazz

Donovan Mitchell, fed up with officiating, earns a technical and then goes on scoring frenzy against Bulls

Stat of the week

Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson set a new career-high on Sunday when he scored 45 points off the bench in a win over the Sacramento Kings. Clarkson’s 45 came through a 15-of-21 shooting performance including going 7 of 13 from 3-point range and 8 of 8 from the free throw line.

From the archives

It’s been 2 years since the lights turned out on the NBA, but it’s still not the same
Udoka Azubuike suffers yet another right ankle injury

This week in Jazz history

On March 19, 1997, the Utah Jazz’s John Stockton recorded one steal in the Jazz’ 113-100 win over the Celtics, becoming the first player in NBA history to record 2,500 career steals.

Extra points

  • Could Quin Snyder replace Gregg Popovich in San Antonio? (Deseret News)
  • Mike Conley told Jordan Clarkson to go score 40 — so Clarkson did (
  • Why Rudy Gay believes he can still turn his season with the Jazz around (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Donovan Mitchell vows to be better in clutch moments after Jazz fall to Bucks (

Around the league

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry sidelined with foot sprain, is expected to return for the playoffs.

Former Dallas Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson is suing the team.

Reports suggest Ben Simmons could make his debut with the Brooklyn Nets before playoffs.

Up next

March 18 | 7 p.m. | Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Clippers | AT&T SportsNet

March 20 | 5:30 p.m. | Utah Jazz @ New York Knicks | AT&T SportsNet

March 21 | 5:30 p.m. | Utah Jazz @ Brooklyn Nets | NBA TV

March 23 | 5:30 p.m. | Utah Jazz @ Boston Celtics | AT&T SportsNet

March 25 | 5 p.m. | Utah Jazz @ Charlotte Hornets | AT&T SportsNet