Tennessee Teammates Go Head-to-Head in Workout for Celtics
BOSTON – They battled together as teammates in March to reach the Elite 8 of the NCAA tournament. Now, three months later, they battled against each other for stock in the NBA Draft.
Admiral Schofield and Jordan Bone, two draft prospects out of Tennessee, made up one-third of a six-player workout Monday for the Boston Celtics. The unexpected reunion was just the latest memory logged in a relationship that dates back more than four years.
The duo’s friendship originated on the University of Tennessee campus, when Schofield played host to Bone on Bone’s recruiting visit to the Volunteers. Bone was surprised to learn Sunday night that their friendship just so happened to travel to Boston.
“I seen him walk in the hotel from dinner last night and I was like, ‘What’s up bro?! I wasn’t expecting to see you!’ Bone, a 6-foot-3 guard, told Celtics.com. “But it’s always a good time when I see my guy.”
Schofield, meanwhile, was aware that his former teammate of three years would also be at the workout, but he opted not to share his intel ahead of time.
“I thought about texting him, but I was like, ‘Nah, I’m just gonna pop up on him,’” Schofield said with a laugh.
Both players have grown from boys to men since the day they met for Bone’s recruiting visit. Both players now speak with confidence and have the knowledge of what it takes to be a winner. They learned those things together, although Schofield claims to have been a contributing factor to Bone setting down the right path.
“When he got to school (as a freshman), I kinda took him under my belt and showed him how to work when he first got there,” Schofield remembered. “Because high school kids, they think they know how to work, but they don’t work for real.
“He would literally sit there and watch me work out and literally take notes on what he needed to do just as far as pace, intensity, understanding what the drill is supposed to be like, and he started to gradually get it until he took it to a whole other level and he started to run laps around guys.”
Well, at least around other guys.
“Never around me,” Schofield was sure to firmly add in.
For Bone, Monday was all about trying to run laps around Schofield and the four other prospects who worked out for the Celtics. On the other side – literally, as an opponent – Schofield’s goal was to shut his former teammate down and showcase his all-around versatility.
This is the latest round of competition between the two tight-knit friends. They always competed at a high level during practices, but working out for NBA teams is a whole other animal. Their livelihoods and draft stock were on the line Monday as they competed on the Auerbach Center’s floor, as Danny Ainge and his crew looked on.
“I’m going at Bone,” Schofield deadpanned as he explained the duo’s interaction. “And he went at me today, too.”
Still, amid all of the competition, they savored a moment that few collegiate teammates ever experience in being able to work out together for an NBA team in a small-group environment.
“Today was just fun,” said Schofield with a smile. “Just great seeing that all our hard work together has put us in this position.”
Bone also spoke to the significance of the moment that he was able to experience with his former teammate and close friend.
“It’s definitely a special aspect,” he said. “Me and Admiral spent three years together at Tennessee, and just the bond that we’ve created over the years is something special.
“Just seeing him going through this process and me having the opportunity I have, it means the world for me and him, and I just want to see him succeed.”
That’s the case 99 percent of the time. Monday fell into the other 1 percent.
Monday was all about Schofield and Bone attempting to outperform each other and to attempt to better position themselves to accomplish their lifelong goal: to be drafted into the NBA. There’s no doubt that both of these players would prefer to be drafted higher than the other.