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Nuggets Q&A: John Jenkins

Corey Brewer represents Denver connection for Vandy guard


When John Jenkins first met Corey Brewer, he was awed by his height.

Jenkins was a 6th grader from Hendersonville, Tenn., less than 20 minutes down the road from Brewer’s hometown of Portland. Brewer was a McDonald’s All-American who dropped by the gym to play some pickup games.

“Ever since then, we’ve just been talking to each other, and he’s helped me out a lot,” Jenkins said. “At that time, I was so young. To get to know him, it’s been a blessing.”

On Tuesday, it was Jenkins’ turn to make a first impression as he went through a predraft workout for the Denver Nuggets, who just happen to be Brewer’s current NBA team.

Jenkins, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard, was one of the nation’s top three-point shooters at Vanderbilt last season, hitting 43.9 percent of his shots from beyond the arc. He also averaged 19.9 points and was named to the All-SEC first-team for the second straight year.

After his workout, Jenkins spent a few minutes with Nuggets.com.

Q: First off, have you ever been to Denver before? I know it’s a quick stay but what are your thoughts so far?

A: “Yeah we played here in the tournament a couple years ago; it wasn’t a good memory for me though. We lost to Richmond here in the first round. It was still cool. It’s a great place. The air is kind of thin, but I made sure to run on the treadmill last night to try and get adjusted to it.”

Q: You are known for your three-point shooting ability, what would you say are your other strengths?

A: “I’m an overall smart player; I’ve worked really hard on my defense lately and have been trying to prove that out here. Of course, shooting and just being a great teammate.”

Q: What is the number one thing you want to improve on this summer?

A: “Continue to get better, just my progress through the years of getting better. Ball handling can be one thing that I can improve on. Extending my range and shooting off the dribble are other things.”

Q: What are your thoughts on the Nuggets team? Did you follow them this year at all?

A: “Of course, Corey Brewer is like my brother. We grew up about 20 minutes away from each other, if that.

Q: What did Corey say to you before today?

A: “He said just to go out there and play hard and impress. He didn’t really say anything else.”

Q: Coach George Karl and the Nuggets obviously have an uptempo offense. How do you think your game fits into that?

A: “At Vanderbilt we played that same kind of game, my last year especially. We were really atheletic, so we just went up and down. It’s the type of pace I like to play.”

Q: How have you been preparing for the NBA draft? What would you say is your daily schedule?

A: “This is my first workout, so I broke the ice today. I have been in Santa Barbra working out with BDA, my agency, just going really hard down there.”

Q: How hard of a decision was it to leave Vanderbilt early and enter the draft?

A: “It was the toughest of my life. It was real tough. I didn’t want to do it at first, but I looked at all the options and it was the right time for me to go.”

Q: What is your schedule between now and the draft?

A: “I’m just going to be working out in Santa Barbara. We have a combine there Thursday ( May 24) and then after that I will just schedule more workouts.”