TJ Warren Has All-Star Mentor

by Ben York

Tough. Gritty. Motivated.

Three words you could use to describe the Indiana Pacers’ David West, but also the Suns’ No. 14 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft - TJ Warren.

According to Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star, West has been a mentor to Warren since TJ was just 11-years-old. Warren played for West’s AAU Garner Road Basketball Club program.

West works with the kids in the program every summer after the NBA season comes to an end.

From Buckner’s piece:

"He used to show us his sweet spots on the floor, the mid range to the high post and those are the easiest places to score when you don't have a layup. He used to show us a lot of his moves, so it was good to learn from that," said Warren, who calls his mentor simply 'Dave.' "When I was young I used to have the habit of having the game get away and not keeping my aggressiveness through the whole game. I had a bad habit of shooting threes and not attacking the rim. Dave told me about more effort on the defensive end."

West says his mentorship of Warren and other kids in the program is the most fulfilling thing he does other than raise his own kids.

Indeed, perhaps the most encouraging part of their relationship is how Warren embraced and responded to West’s selfless guidance.

More from West:

"This is a guy that we invested a lot of time in, not because it was up to us but because (Warren) wanted it."