Mocs Malachi Smith and David Jean Baptiste Enjoyed NBA Draft Process
Chattanooga-(WDEF-TV) The Mocs basketball team announced this week that guards Malachi Smith and David Jean Baptiste will return to the team next season. Both players went through the NBA draft process and elected to come back to college. The SoCon veterans explain what testing the NBA waters was like.
Going through the NBA draft process, you get plenty of feedback on your game.
Said Baptiste:”A couple of things they shouted out were more consistency shooting wise or percentage wise.”
Reporter:”Did people say anything about your James Harden beard?”
Said Baptiste:”Oh man. They said. More people said my Jaylen Brown face than my James Harden beard.”
Malachi Smith trained with some elite athletes, and that made quite an impression on him.
Said Smith:”I was down in Florida for two-and-a-half weeks, and just the way my body changed. Seeing how professionals eat. Sleep. Prepare mentally and physically. I trained with Chris Silva. He played for the Miam Heat. I ran into a lot of NFL players too.”
Said Smith:”I was training at Brandon Marshall’s facility, House of Athletes, so I trained there. So I saw Brandon Marshall. Jarvis Landry. I saw Terrell Owens.”
Of course Terrell Owens is a former Mocs football and basketball player.
Said Smith:”He actually came down there to see me. We keep in touch a lot.”
Reporter:”How cool was that?”
Said Smith:”It was good. I mean everybody was like are you with Terrell Owens? I was just texting him a couple of days ago like you know what I’m sayin.”
We know what you’re sayin’.
Mocs coach Lamont Paris says that draft process was huge for Smith and Baptiste.
Said Paris:”It’s a really good thing for them. One just for their confidence. It helps to reinforce everything that they’ve been doing and that they’ve been working for.”
The veterran Mocs guards will team up again this season for UTC, hopefully bringing more electrifying plays like this dunk from Malachi with Baptiste leaping right behind him.
Said Smith:”So when I got the ball, he was behind me. He said dunk it. I didn’t even know he was behind me. I looked, and he said I was right behind you bro. I was like okay.”
Said Baptiste:”It was one of those moments. It was a moment like. I don’t know. In the moment I saw him get the steal. I was right behind him. I said yeah it’s about that time. He went up, and I went up right behind him.”
And Malachi Smith sounds ready to deliver even more big moments after his NBA draft process experience.
Smith:”Stuff I heard. What I learned. I know my game is going to take a big jump this year.”