MEMPHIS – As the Detroit Pistons make a pitstop in Memphis to take on the Grizzlies, they bring along former Memphis Tiger now NBA rookie Jalen Duren, who was drafted 13th overall in last summer’s draft.
So far Duren making the jump to the NBA look easy, as he’s coming off a career night against the New Orleans Pelicans. Duren was perfect 5 for 5 from the field, for a career high 12 points and 13 rebounds.
He credits a lot of his early success to the Tigers coaching staff and how they helped his development.
“First. It’s great to be back. I love this city. It showed a lot of love my during my time here. I’ve got a lot of lifelong friends here locally,it’s like one family here” said Duren.
“So it’s good to be back. But from Penny to Larry Brown, to [Rasheed Wallace] and coach Topper I learned a lot. They helped me develop my game during my time here and grow as a player and a person”
Duren returns to the Bluff City for the time since being drafted by the Pistons.
” Seeing Beale Street again it was it was a good feeling, honestly, to be back. I think Memphis is one of the best basketball cities in the country. I think they underrated on the basketball side, the fan and the fans in the city showed a lot of love at all our games. Even though we were going through a rough time, they were always there. They showed love. They supported us. That’s one thing I really loved about city”, said Duren.
Duren says one of his favorite Memphis memories is play his final regular season game here to knock of rival Houston, as the Tigers punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament.