Justin James Earns RTP Leadership Award

The Kings rookie has yet to participate in his first NBA Training Camp, but was already recognized by the League at the annual player seminar.
by Hannah Taheri
Social Media Associate

Following Justin James’ four-day stay at the Rookie Training Program (RTP), the University of Wyoming grad was recognized with an RTP Leadership Award. 

According to the NBA, the award is given to five RTP attendees each year, and recognizes “players who demonstrate outstanding team leadership, engagement, and commitment to the personal growth and development of themselves and others.”

We caught up with the rising star to discuss the award, his overall RTP experience, excitement ahead of training camp, and more.

What does it mean to you earn the Rookie Transition Leadership Award?

The Rookie Transition Leadership Award meant a lot just because I pride myself on being a leader and trying to get involved in any way I can to help my team at the time do the best that we can. But, I was just making friends, gaining relationships, and building trust with other people.

What was the experience like at the program as a whole?

It was great—really great. The best part about it was just being able to talk to retired NBA players. They weren’t just people who were telling us stuff, they were people who have been through it and who have gone through the things that we are going to go through.

So, it was a very helpful situation just because there were a lot of people who are in the situation that we are in now and they made a success out of it. They were giving us some tips to become successful.

How excited are you to head into your first training camp as a rookie in the NBA and your first NBA season?

What I’m most looking forward to about Training Camp is just to get the whole team together. To have us finally practicing as a team, going hard, sweating, and just putting those hours into the gym as a team. 

I’m super excited. I waited for this my whole life—to finally say I’m an NBA player. So, I’m working hard just to get ready for Training Camp and I’m super excited. 

What have you been working on most since Summer League wrapped up?

I’ve mostly been continuing to try to be more consistent with the three-ball. I’ve been putting on more weight and always continuing to defend. Being able to play defense is another reason to keep me on the floor so I’m just working on that as much as I can.

Stay tuned to Kings.com as Media Day coverage tips-off the 2019-20 season on September 27 at Golden 1 Center!

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