Undrafted rookie Jordan Hall continues to impress Spurs

LAS VEGAS — Undrafted Spurs rookie goalie Jordan Hall’s most satisfying moments on the field come when he sets up a teammate for an easy bucket.

Whether it’s finding first-round guard Malaki Branham for a 3-point corner or another teammate for a field goal in transition, he’s located the open man more than a few times in league play. summer.

“I like doing that as much as hitting a 3 or dunking the ball,” he said. “It feels good to get others involved. That’s what I like.”

In the running for the team’s latest two-way deal after undrafted rookie forward/center Dominick Barlow signed one earlier this week, Hall is pushing for the spot by distributing the ball selflessly.

“He’s an enabler,” Branham said. “He can film it too, but he’s a facilitator first.”

At 6-foot-8 and 220 pounds with a wingspan of 6-foot-9, the versatile Hall, 20, looks like a small forward, but he’s played most of his career as a point guard. He declared for the NBA draft after averaging 14.1 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.8 assists while shooting better than 36% from 3-point range last season as a sophomore. at St. Joseph’s.

For his college career, he posted an assist rate of 32.25%, which ranks better than most guards in the Class of 2022. Appearing in 50 career games with 47 starts, he set a school record for career assists per game (5.7) and posted five double-digit games, the second in Hawks history behind former NBA point guard Jameer Nelson’s eight.

“He played a playmaker so he has a skill set unique to him,” said Spurs assistant Mitch Johnson, head coach of the club’s summer league side. “You can put the ball in his hands, or he can play with the ball.”

In his build and style of play, Hall resembles former Spur Kyle “Slow Mo” Anderson, a combo forward who recently signed with Minnesota after four seasons with Memphis. Anderson spent his first four seasons with Spurs, who drafted him 30th overall in 2014.

“A lot of people say that,” Hall said.

Hall and Anderson also have something else in common.

“He’s from Jersey,” said Hall, who is originally from Wildwood, NJ. “I know him a little bit. Not very well, but I know him.

Hall grew up in Jersey playing point.

“I was always taller than everyone growing up, but I never expected to be 6-9,” he said. “It’s a blessing. My second year of high school, I started to grow.

Hall played his first prep pitch season in New Jersey before transferring to a school in Springfield, Pennsylvania. was named Catholic League Player of the Year as a senior.

After posting per-game averages of 10.6 points and 5.9 rebounds while leading all freshmen with 5.7 assists and earning Atlantic 10 rookie honors at St. Joseph’s, Hall was considering entering the 2021 NBA draft.

It was then that he first interacted with Spurs.

“I worked for them my freshman year when I was testing the waters,” Hall said.

Spurs liked what they saw but advised him to return to school for another season, advice he accepted. After nearly transferring to Texas A&M, Hall returned to St. Joseph’s for his second season.

Given his history with Spurs, Hall was delighted to accept their invitation to the summer league.

“I feel like I fit into this organization,” he said. “I like the organization. I love San Antonio. With Coach Pop (Gregg Popovich), Tim Duncan, Manu (Ginobili) they have a great history so it’s something very special to do.

Hall’s main competition for the last two-way spot includes sophomore forward Joe Wieskamp, ​​who was sidelined in Vegas with an ankle injury, and undrafted rookie forward Darius Days , who missed Thursday’s loss to Atlanta due to illness.

Hall will get another chance to show his court awareness and passing ability in Las Vegas, when the Spurs (0-4) take on the Memphis Grizzlies (2-2) at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Thomas & Mack Center at UNLV. in their summer league. final.

ESPN will broadcast the game.

“Jordan is a guy who can do a variety of things on the basketball court,” Johnson said. “It’s difficult for a young person. He’s only 20, and being surrounded by some of these first-round picks and guys who’ve been here like (Spurs second-year guard Josh) Primo and fitting in (it’s not easy ). His game suits that, but it’s probably hard for him to balance playing aggressive, confident but not too much. It’s always difficult trying to find your role.

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Twitter: Tom_Orsborn

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