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Jazz rookie Keyonte George credits breakout season to summer of film study: ‘I was trying to speed up the process’

SALT LAKE CITY — On draft night last June, Keyonte George sat in the green room with his family waiting for his name to be called and anticipating where his career in the NBA would start. Victor Wembanyama, of course, was the first player to walk across the stage and shake NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s hand, and it was 15 picks after that when George heard his name. He was headed to the Utah Jazz, a team in rebuild mode after trading away star players Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert a year prior.

George didn’t waste any time and started watching games from the Jazz’s 2022-23 season. It was head coach Will Hardy’s first year and the Jazz finished with a 37-45 record. The 6-foot-4 guard out of Baylor watched all 82 games over the summer, something not a lot of first-year players do coming into the league.

“I watched as much film as I could just so I knew what my role was going to be coming in,” George told Yahoo Sports. “I knew Mike [Conley] was gone so I just had to go into a new situation, trying to be a lead guard, and I was trying to speed up the process. My main goal was to be effective as soon as possible so I wanted to put myself in a position to be knowledgeable and not think about what I was doing in a new system and just play.”