Jaren Jackson Jr. voted as best player on Team USA by peers

Jaren Jackson Jr. and the rest of Team USA recently underwent training camp for the FIBA World Cup. Before they wrapped up their work, The Athletic polled several competitors on the “best, most impressive, or standout player” from practice.

The results of the vote conducted by his peers pointed to Jackson, the Memphis Grizzlies’ All-Star, as the player who stuck out the most. Several players chimed in, providing an explanation for their decision.

“Jaren, particularly (Saturday), his energy and the way he went to the glass and went to the foul line every other possession. He was just really a force (in the Saturday scrimmage against the U.S. Select Team).”

Jalen Brunson on why he voted for Jaren Jackson Jr.

Brunson’s New York Knicks teammate, Josh Hart, also gave his reasoning, “I’d say Jaren Jackson, just the way he was bringing energy, toughness.” Orlando’s Paolo Banchero agreed, “I thought he was a huge presence.”

It should also be noted that players were allowed to vote for multiple names, meaning Jackson may have been a popular pick, but he wasn’t always the only one chosen. Here are some more results from the player poll.

  • Josh Hart, Jalen Brunson, Tyrese Haliburton: Two votes
  • Brandon Ingram, Paolo Banchero, Bobby Portis, Anthony Edwards, Cade Cunningham: One vote

While many of his teammates were already aware that Jackson, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year winner is a good player, they may not have understood just how great he could be. Team USA’s first game comes on Monday against Puerto Rico, giving Jackson chance to show the world what he’s capable of.

Related: NBA Rookie of the Year 2023-24: Top NBA ROY odds and candidates to win, including Chet Holmgren

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