Metro State point guard looking to make impression on Nuggets

Brandon Jefferson was NCAA Division II player of the year
by Aaron Lopez

Coming out of high school four years ago, Brandon Jefferson was overlooked by Division I schools who were leery of his height and work ethic.

Jefferson, who describes himself as “5-9 on a good day,” went on to become the 2013-14 NCAA Division II player of the year while leading Metro State within one victory of reaching the national title game.

With the odds stacked against him again, Jefferson is taking part in a two-day mini-camp with the Nuggets in hopes of earning a spot on Denver’s summer league roster.

“He’s been hearing the naysayers for a long time,” Metro State coach Derrick Clark said. “He’s turned it the other way and said he’s going to prove people wrong.”

Showcasing his speed and shooting ability, Jefferson averaged 21.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists as a senior. He also averaged 2.4 steals and connected on 45.3 percent of his 3-point attempts.

“I’m confident,” he said. “I always think I’m going to make the team. I just have to use my ability and listen to what the coaches are telling me. They want to see if I can lead a team at the point guard spot. That’s what I’m going to try to do.”

Jefferson has proven he can score, but he also wants to show NBA coaches, executives and scouts that he’s not a liability on defense.

After two days at Pepsi Center, he’s hoping to earn an extended audition at the Samsung NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

“He just has a pride about him,” Clark said. “A big part of that is his parents and what they’ve instilled in him. He has values to be successful. Brandon’s never been one to settle for the status quo.”

“We want him to make it, but he’s defying the odds by just being here (at the mini-camp). He’s playing with house money. But at the same time, he’s hungry.”