Social Nav Bar Overrides - v2019

Body: 

Global Sub Nav - v2019

Body: 

Blank Spacer - 20px

Body: 

Savoring the Journey

Jaron Blossomgame's Basketball Odyssey Nearly Ended Before It Ever Began
by Joe Gabriele
Cavs.com Beat Writer

Cavs.com Feature: Savoring the Journey

Jaron Blossomgame's Basketball Odyssey Nearly Ended
Before It Ever Began

If the saying is true that patience is a virtue, then Cavaliers rookie Jaron Blossomgame might be the most virtuous guy on the squad.

No player’s road to the NBA is easy, but for the man with the moniker that was built for basketball, it’s been an uphill climb that’s simultaneously the culmination and the very beginning of his journey.

Whether it was the gruesome AAU injury that nearly ended his hoops career before it could begin or getting released by the Spurs after spending a season in the G League, Blossomgame isn’t easily deterred.

One of the Wine & Gold’s two-way players, Blossomgame has worked his way into the Cavaliers’ rotation – impressing the coaching staff with his off-the-charts athleticism, hard work, hustle and willingness to absorb information.

"He continues to blossom," praised Coach Larry Drew. "He's been good for us. He plays with a lot of energy, he plays hard and he's a live body. You don't have to run plays for him, he just plays within himself. He's a company guy. I know each and every night that I'm going to get that same effort from him. He's starting to really lock in to what we're doing, and I feel really good putting him out there."

Blossomgame was selected by the Spurs with the 59th overall pick of the 2017 Draft after four successful seasons at Clemson – earning All-ACC honors and leading the Tigers to the NIT as a senior.

In eight outings with Canton, Blossomgame is the squad's leading scorer, averaging 16.1 points per contest.
Photo by Allison Farrand/NBAE via Getty Images


Playing four years of college hoops was an accomplishment in itself after Blossomgame suffered a horrendous injury, suffering a compound leg fracture going up for a dunk after practice with his AAU team in Atlanta just three months before enrolling at Clemson.

Teammates actually kept a piece of cardboard in front of the injury to keep him from seeing how serious it was.

Years later, Blossomgame has no problem discussing it.

”As an athlete, it's kind of funny -- I'm more athletic now than I was before the injury, which is kind of insane,” quipped the high-flying forward.

”I learned a lot about myself and I think the main thing I learned was patience. The injury process -- I had a compound fracture, the bone came out of my leg. I got surgery on it and about eight months later, I started working out again on the court. But I still had pain doing little things like walking up and down stairs – and my leg felt like it was on fire after a workout. So I didn't know if that would be the new normal for me.”

Blossomgame went back for a second surgery that sidelined him from the game for the next 16 months. He was finally cleared in September before his redshirt freshman year and had just a month to train and prepare for the season.

He did – and he played the rest of his stellar career with Clemson without re-aggravating the injury. But even after leaving campus with flying colors, the battle to reach the NBA wasn’t over. And Blossomgame credits that physical setback for changing his mindset.

”I had to stay patient with myself, and that means the whole process after college,” continued the Atlanta native. “I played the entire year in the G League last year, started off there this year. So, I've had to stay patient, I've learned a lot about patience, and I think that's helped me so far.”

"I know I'm an NBA player, so that really didn't affect me. It was just tough mentally. But like I said, I just put my head down and worked. "

Blossomgame on being released by San Antonio

Blossomgame helped the Austin Spurs win the G League title last year – being named All-NBA G League Third Team in the process. He went to Camp with the Spurs this fall, but was waived on October 8 after three preseason games.

He began this season with Austin – averaging 20.9 points 7.5 boards in ten contests – and, on November 19, was dealt to the Canton Charge in exchange for the rights to John Holland.

On December 5, he played his first game with the Wine & Gold – logging three minutes in a loss to Golden State – and has seen action in every game since, getting three starts along the way.

”When I got released (by San Antonio), I was upset,” said the 6-7, 220-pounder. “I told myself I would give myself a day to think about it and be upset about it. But after that, it was strictly work. I know I'm an NBA player, so that really didn't affect me. It was just tough mentally. But like I said, I just put my head down and worked.

”I played well in my first six games with Austin, got traded over to Canton, played about three games in Canton and got converted. So it all happened unbelievably fast. I was thinking about my last 48 days. I played a game in Austin 48 days ago and now I've started my first NBA game, had my first NBA double-double and my career-high a couple games ago. So, it's just so unbelievable, these last four or five weeks for me.”

Blossomgame’s first double-double game four games into his NBA career – an 11-point, 10-rebound performance in a loss to Milwaukee. Four games later, he tallied 15 points off the bench against Charlotte – going 6-of-7 from the floor, including 4-of-5 from long-range. In Friday night’s loss to the Heat, he led the Wine & Gold with 10 boards in his third career start.

”It's an unbelievable opportunity, especially as a two-way guy -- being able to play 15-20 minutes a game, being able to produce,” beamed Blossomgame as the Cavaliers roll into his hometown for a Saturday showdown with the Hawks. “But right now I'm trying to control things I can control -- my rebounding, my effort, blocking shots. Every night, your shot's not going to fall, so I'm trying to focus on things I can control every night and on things I can bring to the table every night.”

Jaron Blossomgame appreciates every minute he gets in the Association – living a dream that almost ended before it began.

”I didn't expect to play this much or have this great of an opportunity,” concluded the affable high-flyer. “But I started playing pretty well and the wheels kept rolling. Now I’m just trying to just keep building off it.”

Top Plays of 2018-19 presented by Lexus

From clutch shots to posterizing dunks, Cavs.com has your best moments from the 2018-19 campaign.

Blossomgame Feature - December 29, 2018

Scroll Video up Scroll Video down Scroll Video left Scroll Video right

Top Plays of 2018-19 presented by Lexus

From clutch shots to posterizing dunks, Cavs.com has your best moments from the 2018-19 campaign.
Apr 12, 2019  |  12:38

Cavs Gift Jerseys and Shoes to Wine & Gold Nation

Lucky members of Wine & Gold Nation got to join the Cavaliers on the court following Tuesday's Fan Appreciation Night to receive the game-worn jerseys and shoes.
Apr 9, 2019  |  11:38

GAME RECAP: Celtics 116, Cavaliers 106

Collin Sexton scores a team-high 24 points in Cavs loss to Boston on Tuesday night at The Q.
Mar 26, 2019  |  00:00

Top Plays of February presented by Lexus

Dishes, dunks and drives, Cavs.com has your best moments from the second month of 2019.
Mar 1, 2019  |  05:13

Top Plays of the Week powered by ENGIE

Check out the Wine & Gold's Top Plays from the seventeenth week of the 2018-19 campaign.
Feb 10, 2019  |  00:57

GAME RECAP: Pacers 105, Cavaliers 90

Jordan Clarkson leads Cavs in scoring with 18 points as Cleveland falls to Indiana on Saturday night.
Feb 9, 2019  |  00:00

Blossomgame Soars for Two-Handed Slam

Blossomgame soars down the lane before throwing the hammer down in the third quarter.
Feb 9, 2019  |  00:11

GAME RECAP: Celtics 103, Cavaliers 96

Collin Sexton leads both teams with 27 points in Cavs loss to Celtics at Quicken Loans Arena on Tuesday night.
Feb 5, 2019  |  00:00

Featured Highlight: Delly Dimes Jaron

Matthew Dellavedova drops a beautiful dime to Jaron Blossomgame who finishes the play with a strong two-handed slam.
Feb 5, 2019  |  00:22

Blossomgame Cleans Up Beneath the Hoop

Jaron Blossomgame forces his way to the basket in order to clean up the rebound with a big time dunk in this ‘More Driven Highlight’ driven by Goodyear.
Feb 5, 2019  |  00:14

Top Plays of January presented by Lexus

Dishes, dunks, drives and blocks, Cavs.com has your best moments from the first month of 2019.
Jan 31, 2019  |  05:28

GAME RECAP: Cavaliers 104, Bulls 101

Jordan Clarkson and Alec Burks both score 18 points each to lead Cleveland over Chicago, 104 - 101.
Jan 27, 2019  |  00:00

GAME RECAP: Heat 100, Cavaliers 94

Cedi Osman pours in a career-high 29 points in Cavs loss to Heat on Friday night.
Jan 25, 2019  |  00:00

GAME RECAP: Celtics 123, Cavaliers 103

Cedi Osman scores 25 in Cavs loss to Boston on Wednesday.
Jan 23, 2019  |  00:00

GAME RECAP: Bulls 104, Cavaliers 88

Collin Sexton posts a team-high 18 points in Cavs loss to the Bulls on MLK Day.
Jan 21, 2019  |  00:00

Payne's Steal Leads to Blossomgame Score

Cameron Payne makes a nice play on the ball, which leads to Blossomgame's score at the other end of the court.
Jan 21, 2019  |  00:12

Top Plays of the Week powered by ENGIE

Check out the Wine & Gold's Top Plays from the fourteenth week of the 2018-19 campaign.
Jan 20, 2019  |  00:59

GAME RECAP: Nuggets 124, Cavaliers 102

Nikola Jokic notches a triple-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists as Denver gets the home win over Cleveland.
Jan 20, 2019  |  00:00

Clarkson Deposits the Easy Dunk

Jaron Blossomgame picks up the loose ball and flings it to a wide open Jordan Clarkson for the uncontested dunk.
Jan 20, 2019  |  00:10

Delly Throws the Lob to Blossomgame

Matthew Dellavedova spots a rolling Jaron Blossomgame for the high-handoff connection.
Jan 19, 2019  |  00:07

GAME RECAP: Jazz 115, Cavaliers 99

Donovan Mitchell scores 24 points and Rudy Gobert adds a double-double (19 points, 15 rebounds) as the Jazz win their sixth straight.
Jan 18, 2019  |  00:00

Blossomgame Attacks the Rim

Jaron Blossomgame shows off his hops and attacks the basket for this rim-rocking slam.
Jan 18, 2019  |  00:16

Blossomgame Throws the Hammer Down

Channing Frye finds a cutting Jaron Blossomgame who throws the hammer down.
Jan 18, 2019  |  00:13

#CavsBlazers Postgame: Jaron Blossomgame

Cavaliers guard Jaron Blossomgame spoke with the media following Wednesday's loss to the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center.
Jan 17, 2019  |  01:43

GAME RECAP: Blazers 129, Cavaliers 112

Damian Lillard posts 33 points and Jusuf Nurkic notches his first career triple-double as Portland takes it, 129-112.
Jan 17, 2019  |  00:00

Blossomgame Sends the Shot Away

Seth Curry goes up for the three-pointer but Jaron Blossomgame swats his shot attempt away.
Jan 16, 2019  |  00:13

Top Plays of the Week powered by ENGIE

Check out the Wine & Gold's Top Plays from the thirteenth week of the 2018-19 campaign.
Jan 14, 2019  |  01:26

GAME RECAP: Cavaliers 101, Lakers 95

Cedi Osman scores 20 points to lead the Cavaliers to a win over the Lakers, 101-95.
Jan 13, 2019  |  00:00

GAME RECAP: Rockets 141, Cavaliers 113

James Harden notches a triple-double with 43points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists to lead Houston over Cleveland.
Jan 11, 2019  |  00:00

GAME RECAP: Pelicans 140, Cavaliers 124

Anthony Davis finishes with 38 points and 13 rebounds as the Pelicans win their third straight game.
Jan 9, 2019  |  00:00
NEXT UP:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter