Pacers 2017 Pre-Draft Workouts: James Blackmon Jr., Indiana

James Blackmon Jr. completed his final pre-draft workout Saturday morning for his hometown team, the Indiana Pacers. He estimated that it was his 14th or 15th workout. It’s easy to lose count during the process, and when he worked out for six different teams over the last six days.

“I just tried to bring the same energy, the same effort, and just show how competitive I am in every one — and I feel like I did that,” Blackmon Jr. said afterwards.

“I’m pretty tired but you know I’m used to it. This is what I what I want to do with my life. This is my dream. It’s been the best time of my life, traveling to city to city and getting the opportunity to play in front of these GMs and teams.”

The Indiana University product will earn a living with his shooting — he shot 42.3 percent in his final season in Bloomington — but he also believes his size and competitiveness gives him an edge. He said that he’s received “great feedback” from team executives during his travels.

“These teams are loving the fact that I have size and that I can play the point guard position,” he said. “I’ve just been showing that I’m a point guard that can score. Just showing at both ends my competitive edge.”

Blackmon Jr. has gone through the draft process before, but last year he returned for his junior season. He has his best season statistically, averaged 17 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game. During these workouts, he’s interviewed as “strictly point guard.” He’s 6-foot-3 and nearly 200 pounds, and a key area where he needs to improve on is his defense. He knows that, and believes he has made progress.

“I’m confident I’m an NBA player,” Blackmon Jr. said less than a week before the draft. He’s nowhere to be seen on mock drafts, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Because then you have a choice in your next stop, just as his former IU teammates Yogi Ferrell (Dallas) and Troy Williams (Houston) did last summer.

“The draft is obviously the goal for everyone but for guys like that it paid off [not to get drafted]. Some guys that got drafted aren’t playing in the league and them two are. I’m definitely proud of them, and I’ve been talking to them almost every other day, especially Yogi. I worked out for Dallas this week.”

He’s still finalizing his draft night plans, but Blackmon Jr. expects to be at home with his family.

The 22-year-old walked at graduation this spring, but still has an online sports communication course, plus an internship, to complete his degree in just over three years.

On whether he grew up a Pacers fan: “Definitely. Being the hometown team, you know you’re always watching it, especially wanting to play in the NBA. This is my dream so definitely coming in here is an honor to me and I wanted to show my best effort.”

On Tom Crean getting fired: “It was tough for our players because of how much he was there for us. It’s just something that we had to go with and it was hard for all of our players.”

On whether Crean getting fired impacted his decision: “No, not really. My decision was my decision.”

On his brother, Vijay, walking on at IU: “It’s great. He’s having fun since he’s been down there. I think he got down there earlier this week. I think he got down there earlier this week. He’s told me it’s a lot of fun with the guys and they’re all getting along together.”

Watch what Blackmon Jr. had to say following his workout below:

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