featured-image

Five Facts: Brown, Yabusele, Zizic, Jackson, Bentil, Nader

Team Reporter

addByline("Taylor C. Snow","Celtics.com","Celtics"); addPhoto("https://i.cdn.turner.com/drp/nba/celtics/sites/default/files/160720brown300350.jpg", "No. 3 overall pick Jaylen Brown.", "Brian Babineau/NBAE", "Brown"); addPhoto("https://i.cdn.turner.com/drp/nba/celtics/sites/default/files/160720yabusele300350.jpg", "No. 16 overall pick Guerschon Yabusele.", "Steve Freeman/NBAE", "Yabusele"); addPhoto("https://i.cdn.turner.com/drp/nba/celtics/sites/default/files/160720zizic300350.jpg", "No. 23 overall pick Ante Zizic.", "Jennifer Pottheiser/NBAE", "Zizic"); addPhoto("https://i.cdn.turner.com/drp/nba/celtics/sites/default/files/160720jackson300350.jpg", "No. 45 overall pick Demetrius Jackson.", "Garrett Ellwood/NBAE", "Jackson"); addPhoto("https://i.cdn.turner.com/drp/nba/celtics/sites/default/files/160720bentil300350.jpg", "No. 51 overall pick Ben Bentil.", "Brian Babineau/NBAE", "Bentil"); addPhoto("https://i.cdn.turner.com/drp/nba/celtics/sites/default/files/160720nader300350.jpg", "No. 58 overall pick Abdel Nader.", "Brian Babineau/NBAE", "Nader");

The Boston Celtics just wrapped up Summer League play and now it’s time to really get to know your rookies.

We’ve dug up five little-known facts about all six of Boston’s 2016 Draft selections, so brush up on your team trivia below as they prep to make their marks in the NBA.

Jaylen Brown

The Celtics selected 19-year-old Brown out of California, Berkley with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. Here are his five facts:

  • In his free time, Brown enjoys playing chess, meditation, hot yoga and table tennis. He’s also very invested in education; he took a graduate-level class during his freshman year at Cal.
  • His brother Quenton played Division I football at the University of North Texas, and his cousin A.J. Bouye is a cornerback for the Houston Texans.
  • During his senior season at Wheeler High School, Brown clinched the Georgia Class 6A state title by sinking two free throws with 0.6 seconds remaining to give his team a 59-58 victory. It capped off a stellar campaign, during which he averaged 28.0 points and 12.0 rebounds per game.
  • His mother calls him “old man” because he “moves slow and talks slow,” though that nickname only applies off the court.
  • Brown is fluent in Spanish. He also studied Italian in preparation for the Adidas Eurocamp in Italy so that he could converse with the referees.

Guerschon Yabusele

The Celtics selected France native Yabusele with the 16th overall pick in the Draft. Here are his five facts:

  • Yabusele started boxing when he was five years old and he attributes that to his great agility. After his workout with the Phoenix Suns, he said, “It’s a great workout for your body, for your hands, [and allows you to] move quickly with your feet and your ankles.”
  • He aspired to be a soccer player during his youth, but his father advised him to focus on basketball.
  • Yabusele told Celtics.com that he’s been studying English during the past year by watching movies.
  • He has one of the most intimidating figures of the 2016 draftees; he stands 6-foot-8, weighs 275 pounds and has a 7-2 wingspan.
  • According to Yabusele, as he was flying into New York City for the NBA Draft, a woman sitting next to him on the plane predicted that the Celtics would select him.

Ante Zizic

Zizic was selected with the 23rd overall pick and will remain overseas in Croatia this season. Here are five facts on the 19-year-old center:

  • Zizic was one of three Croatian players selected in the 2016 NBA Draft, along with No. 4 overall pick Dragan Bender (Phoenix) and the No. 32 pick Ivica Zubac (L.A. Lakers).
  • His 36-year-old brother Andrija has played professionally overseas since 1998 and is a member of the senior Croatian national team.
  • During his youth, Zizic ran a business renting beach chairs on Croatian beaches, according to ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla.
  • Last season, he led the Adriatic league in rebounding and was named the ABA’s top prospect.
  • Zizic’s hometown of Split, Croatia is the birthplace of seven former and current NBA players, including three former Celtics – Dino Radja, Bruno Sundov and Zan Tabak.

Demetrius Jackson

The Celtics selected Jackson with the 45th pick in the Draft. Here are his five facts:

  • Jackson was born in South Bend, Indiana and lived in multiple foster homes during his youth. He set his focus on basketball and earned scholarship offers from elite programs around the country before ultimately deciding to attend his hometown University of Notre Dame.
  • While playing for Marian Catholic High School in Mishawaka, Indiana, Jackson became St. Joseph County’s all-time leading scorer with 1,934 career points.
  • Celtics coach Brad Stevens recruited him out of high school when he was coaching at Butler University. Jackson already had ties to the school, as his foster father was a Butler graduate.
  • As a junior this past season, he finished among the ACC’s top 10 in points, assists, steals and minutes, and earned a spot on the Second-Team All ACC.
  • Jackson averaged 17.8 points, 4.5 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game during Notre Dame’s 2016 run to the Elite Eight.

Ben Bentil

The Celtics selected Bentil with the 51st pick in the Draft. Here are five facts on the former Providence College big man:

  • Bentil spent the first 15 years of his life in Ghana before moving to Delaware to pursue a higher education. His sister, a middle school teacher, taught him English before he moved to the U.S.
  • He says his favorite athlete is former Celtics great Kevin Garnett.
  • Bentil led the Big East in scoring this past season, posting 21.1 points per game for the Friars. He was named the conference’s Most Improved Player as he more than tripled his freshman scoring average.
  • He bench-pressed 20 reps of 185 pounds at the Draft Combine, which was the most of any participant.
  • Bentil is the fourth Providence player drafted by the Celtics in the last 21 years. The others were Eric Williams (1996), Ryan Gomes (2005) and MarShon Brooks (2011).

Abdel Nader

Boston chose Nader with the 58th overall selection in the Draft. Here are his five facts:

  • Nader split his college career between Northern Illinois (2011-13) and Iowa State (2014-16).
  • He helped lead Niles North High School (Illinois) to its first sectional championship in 47 years during his final prep season.
  • Nader finished in the top three in points, rebounds, steals, blocks, free throw percentage and 3-point makes during his senior season for No. 15 Iowa State.
  • He averaged 12.8 PPG during 2016 Las Vegas Summer League play, making him Boston’s third-highest scorer behind Terry Rozier and Jaylen Brown.
  • Nader is aiming to become the second Egypt native to play in an NBA game. The other was former Celtics forward Alaa Abdelnaby.