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During Thursday’s 2023 NBA draft, the Utah Jazz selected UCF’s Taylor Hendricks with the ninth pick, Baylor’s Keyonte George with the 16th pick and Ohio State’s Brice Sensabaugh with the 28th pick.

Interestingly, all three players are linked by more than the fact that they will all don a Jazz uniform.

Sensabaugh, an Orlando, Florida, native, grew up playing AAU with Hendricks, who is from Fort Lauderdale. Not only are they familiar with being teammates, but they also experienced intense competition. As seniors in high school, Hendricks’ Calvary Christian squad beat Sensabaugh’s Lake Highland Prep 62-60 in Florida’s 4A state semifinal in 2022. Hendricks’ team went on to win the state title that season for the second consecutive year.

While Sensabaugh and Hendricks have been friends and kept in contact throughout the draft process, it’s the draft process that brought Sensabaugh and George together. Both players are represented by the same agency, Wasserman, so they’ve been working out together for the last month and have grown close.

Ohio State’s Brice Sensabaugh plays against Illinois Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023, in Columbus, Ohio. Thursday night the Utah Jazz selected the former Buckeye with the 28th pick. | Jay LaPrete, Associated Press

When asked to describe the other two, Sensabaugh said that Hendricks brightens every room he’s in and added that Jazz fans are going to be very happy with the team’s newest players.

“You guys got three good, very good personalities and people that are willing to work,” he said.

So what are these guys like when they aren’t on the court?

Well, Sensabaugh said that his mom made sure he was a good student in high school and college, so when he wasn’t playing basketball he was hitting the books. But recently he’s been getting into fashion a little more.

“I like clothes and fashion,” he said. “Whether it’s like thrifting or going to flea markets or different kinds of stuff like that. It’s pretty cool to me. I used to play video games a lot, but not as much anymore. Being from Florida with nice weather I kind of just like being outside in nature and whatnot. Utah is like a whole different scenery, so I think it’d be cool to be out there with the mountains and stuff.”

He’ll be in good company, because George is looking forward to taking out his dog Duke to explore what Utah has to offer.

“The mountains is crazy out there,” George said. “I like hiking. I’ve got a Dobermann, so it’s gonna be fun to take him out on walks.”

Taylor Hendricks is the versatile player the Jazz were looking for

It feels like too often draft prospects say that they are really into music or watching sports and that doesn’t really give insight into their personalities, but with Sensabaugh and George, they showed that they have some varied interests.

But don’t worry, Hendricks had a fun answer, too, when asked what he likes to do when he’s not on the basketball court.

“I like to bowl, so I hope there’s some bowling spots near the gym,” Hendricks said. “I like to watch movies, preferably like thrillers, mind games. And I like music. I heard Usher is performing in Las Vegas so I’m gonna try to go to the concert ... I hope coach lets me.”

New with the Jazz

Jazz come away from draft night feeling like everything went according to plan

This week on ‘Unsalvageable’

Check out “Unsalvageable,” hosted by Deseret News Utah Jazz beat reporter Sarah Todd and lifelong Jazz fan Greg Foster (no, not that Greg Foster).

Tune in this weekend to hear the crew recap the 2023 NBA draft and react to the Jazz’s three picks.

New episodes come out every week. You can listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and anywhere else you stream podcasts.

How to pass the offseason

I’ve got to be honest, when the team that I cover has three first-round draft picks, there’s quite a bit of work and preparation that needs to be done on my part and the week leading up to the draft was busy.

Well, my draft prep has actually kept me pretty busy for the last six weeks, but I’d be lying if I said it felt like work. I love watching film on college prospects and digging around for intel on them. I love rewatching college games and seeing where the strengths and weaknesses are in a player’s game and trying to project what they would look like in the NBA.

I’m an absolute hoops nerd, so gearing up for the draft is one of my favorite times of the year and because the Jazz had so many picks in the first round, it meant that I needed to have a pretty deep understanding of the players available in this class.

Now that the draft is over, I really can’t wait to watch them all play. I can’t wait for Summer League and I can’t wait to see which players pan out or rise above what is expected of them or fail to meet expectations.

So really, one of the ways that I’m passing the time in the offseason is gearing up for the next season.

Stat of the week

When the Utah Jazz drafted Taylor Hendricks ninth overall in the 2023 NBA draft, he became UCF’s highest drafted player ever. He’s the University of Central Florida’s first lottery pick.

From the archives

Utah Jazz to air games on KJZZ and new streaming platform
Jazz rebuild should take more concrete shape after Thursday’s NBA draft

Extra points

  • What Keyonte George brings to the Jazz (Deseret News)
  • Despite injury history, Jazz see major potential with Brice Sensabaugh (Deseret News)
  • Ahead of draft, a Q&A with the Jazz’s vice president of player personnel (Deseret News)

Around the league

Marcus Smart to Memphis, Kristaps Porzingis to Celtics in three-team trade.

Chicago Bulls not expecting Lonzo Ball to play in the 2023-24 season.

View Comments

Kawhi Leonard had a knee procedure but is expected to be ready for training camp.

Chris Paul traded to Warriors, Jordan Poole to Wizards.

Up next: SLC Summer League

July 3 | 5 p.m. | Memphis Grizzlies vs. Philadelphia 76ers |
July 3 | 7 p.m. | Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Utah Jazz |
July 5 | 5 p.m. | Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder |
July 5 | 7 p.m. | Philadelphia 76ers vs. Utah Jazz |
July 6 | 5 p.m. | Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Philadelphia 76ers |
July 6 | 7 p.m. | Memphis Grizzlies vs. Utah Jazz |

*Radio and television broadcast information will be announced at a later date.

Keyonte George is greeted by NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected 16th overall by the Utah Jazz during the NBA draft, Thursday, June 22, 2023, in New York. | John Minchillo, Associated Press
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