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June 21, 2018

Jaren Jackson Jr.

Brooklyn, New York

JAREN JACKSON JR.: Oh, it's surreal, man. When they called my name, I think my brain kind of turned off and all the emotion just went through me. I walked up there, shook his hand and just -- it was crazy.

Q. Was there a part of you that was thinking about continuing on with your college education, to graduate, to come in a little bit later?
JAREN JACKSON JR.: I'm still going to graduate.

Q. What are you studying over at Michigan State?
JAREN JACKSON JR.: I was a communications major. I'm going to continue working on that, and I'm definitely going to graduate. Yeah, I've got a mom, so she's on me. I've got to do that for me and her. It's very important in our family.

Q. What are some of your favorite artists?
JAREN JACKSON JR.: Well, I'm a young gun, so probably guys I would say you have no idea who I'm talking about. I'd probably say some Lil Uzi. Because I'm in Memphis, I've got to shout out BlocBoy. You've got to say that. You're nodding, but I know you don't know.

Q. Your father played 12 years in the league; at what age did you want to be an NBA player?
JAREN JACKSON JR.: I wanted to be an NBA player probably as long as I can remember. I can't really even -- it's everybody's dream. We dream about this every day, and we dream about this moment probably more than you can think of. It's surreal.

Q. And when did you start to believe that it could actually happen, it was realistic?
JAREN JACKSON JR.: Probably when you hit your late growth spurt. I used to be shorter, so it wasn't always something you really think about. I was more playing for fun. I always loved it. But more and more serious as I got my height and as I grew into it and started playing with it more, it just becomes more and more of a thing. I can't really point to one moment. I think it was just gradual. That just builds confidence.

Q. Now that you're in the NBA, I know you're really excited leading up to this, but what's the next week of your life going to be like? What's your schedule? Are you going there right away?
JAREN JACKSON JR.: I think that's like flight information, so I've got to like ask my agent. I really don't know. Brain is kind of turned off right now.

But you know, I'm definitely going to try to see some family for a couple days while I've got the opportunity and then just try to get back to my routine, just get back to it. This was a great night, but it's one night. We're getting ready for Summer League, and that's where our focus is now.

Q. I don't know if you saw, but Miles was drafted right before you walked in --
JAREN JACKSON JR.: I saw. I was watching.

Q. What's it like for you to come into the league together and the communication between you guys leading up to the draft?
JAREN JACKSON JR.: Oh, my gosh, we've been hanging out like every day in the room, like, man, this is about to happen. Like every day up to this point we've been in New York, we've just probably been just thinking about it.

To get drafted with your teammate especially, not many people get to do that. It's pretty frequent this year you see the Kentucky guys and you see the Villanova guys. It's a great feeling, trust me.

Q. What's the inspiration behind your wardrobe tonight?
JAREN JACKSON JR.: Oh, well, I'm glad you asked. There's a lot of different things. I definitely like to dress like how I see myself acting. I'm pretty loud, excited. I'm happy pretty much 90 percent of the time except when we cross that line, then it's business. But off the court I'm just excited a lot, so this is just like a loud suit. I like to make a statement. You only get drafted one time, so I wanted to do it. But I'm a young guy, so I don't think anybody expected me to do something meaningful, Rock the Vote. No one expected me to do that. Youngest one here doing something like that. I think that's important. I'm voting for the first time next year, which is probably weird. Not many people doing that.

So I'm happy. I'm happy to do something like this. JC Penney hooked me up. Shout-out, JC Penney.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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