What to know about Memphis basketball center Jalen Duren ahead of NBA Draft

by 24USATVJune 24, 2022, 3:01 a.m. 17
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Jalen Duren exemplifies what any NBA team would be looking for in a traditional center. At 6-foot-11 and 250 pounds, he provides a sturdy focal point for a team’s defense.

Duren is projected as a top-15 selection in the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft on June 23, according to For the Win.

Here’s what you need to know about the University of Memphis freshman center.

At age 13, Duren was already 6-foot-8

As a young child, Duren played baseball, football and basketball. After growing to be 6’8” in eighth grade, Duren took his talents to Roman Catholic High School.

When his sophomore year came to an end, Duren transferred to Montverde Academy in Montverde, Florida. While being a part of Montverde Academy’s team, Duren was exposed to high level competition including basketball powerhouse Oak Hill Academy. Duren was also featured on SportsCenter Top 10 plays after blocking a shot by catching it mid-air during a game.

He decided to create a YouTube series to document his collegiate and draft journey.

The New Castle, Delaware native first released the trailer to his docuseries “Just Gettin’ Started” on May 13. The docuseries gives viewers an inside look at Duren’s workouts, community involvement and interactions with other players. He also created a mini-vlog series to showcase his day-to-day activities leading up to minutes before the draft.

In the docuseries, Duren talks about having to grow up fast to compete at the highest level. Duren brings cameras with him to his college signing day at his high school and shares his initial expectations of Memphis’ program.

Duren also says it does not matter what city or state he gets drafted to, he is ready for constant work. Duren’s trainer Mike Terry has positioned the Memphis standout for the high physical demands of the NBA by implementing three-a-day workouts.

Duren was named AAC Freshman of the Year and earned First Team All-AAC.

The assertive big man helped lead Memphis to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2014. He assisted in getting the Tigers to the second round. Duren averaged 12 points and 8.1 rebounds per game in his freshman season.

After making a risky move to reclass and turning down offers from Kentucky and Miami, Duren is proving his gut feeling to be true by positioning him to land as the perfect missing five for a team in the league.

Alexis Davis is a sports reporting intern for the Memphis Commerical Appeal. Contact her at [email protected]

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