keen to grow game in Utah with Jazz
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[June 27, 2014]
By Larry Fine
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Australia's Dante
Exum, the NBA Draft's Mystery Man, will have a chance to reveal his
talents with the Utah Jazz after being taken fifth overall on Thursday.
Exum chose not to enroll in U.S. college, the more common path to
the NBA, after leading Canberra's Lake Ginninderra College to the
national schools championship while he was also in attendance at the
Australian Institute of Sport.
He then came to California to develop his game and worked out for
various NBA teams intrigued by sizzling past performances in the
under-19 world championship in Prague and at an exhibition camp more
than a year ago.
Even without widespread showcasing, the gifts possessed by the
6-foot-6 (1.98m) quick-footed and sure-handed guard won admiration
of NBA talent scouts and Exum is now eager to shine a light on his
"I can't wait to get to Utah tomorrow and start getting to work,"
The 18-year-old Exum joins a team with incumbent point guard Trey
Burke, who was taken ninth in last year's draft.
"I already spoke to him, and he's excited to have me, and I'm
excited to be there," said Exum. "I know we're both going to give up
something a little so everyone's happy."
Exum said the fact that new Jazz coach Quin Snyder was a point guard
at Duke University was a positive.
"I think the coach being a point guard, he's going to know how to
utilize me and Trey," said Exum.
"That's exciting for me and just to be able to put myself in a
situation where I'm able to learn and grow as a player and point
guard. I think that's the most exciting thing."
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Exum's father, Cecil Exum, was a team mate of Michael Jordan's on
the 1982 national college championship team at North Carolina and
was drafted into the NBA but did not catch on before playing
professionally in Australia and settling there.
The younger Exum said he was eager to get to work.
"I can't wait for Summer League and I can't wait for the season to
Compatriot Patty Mills, a guard on the NBA champion San Antonio
Spurs, is confident Exum will fit right in.
"His athleticism and his length is tailor-made for the NBA," Mills
"Then when you add in his skill level, combine it with his ball
handling and ability to shoot the ball and get to the rim, you know
he will do well in the NBA."
(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)
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