T.J. McConnell was a guest speaker at Sean Miller’s camp this week, and he talked much about what is already known about him about defying the odds to become an NBA player.
“A small kid from Pittsburgh usually doesn’t end up in the NBA,” McConnell told the young campers. “If you set your mind to something, set goals, play the right way … like coach said, ‘You want to win.’ Just be a good person.
“I’m telling you it will take you a long way, not only in basketball but in life. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. Anything you set your mind to, you’ll be able to do.”
An interesting aspect of McConnell’s appearance was taking questions from the campers. One of them asked, “Who is your favorite teammate?”
McConnell’s answer: Former Arizona guard Jerryd Bayless, a teammate of his with the Philadelphia 76ers.
“I got the pleasure of playing with him the last two years,” McConnell said. “He’s one of the greatest dudes I’ve been around.”
Bayless, a 2008 NBA lottery pick (11th selection overall), will be in the last year of a three-year, $27 million deal with Philadelphia this upcoming season. McConnell will be in the last season of a four-year, $4.5 million contract.