July 9, 2014
Through Tuesday's games at the Orlando NBA Summer League, former Tennessee basketball standout Jarnell Stokes - now a rookie with the Memphis Grizzlies - is the league's leading rebounder.
Memphis has played three summer league games thus far, posting a 2-1 record. Playing 24.3 minutes per game, Stokes averages 12.3 points and a league-best 9.7 rebounds per game. His scoring average ranks tied for 18th in the league.
A power forward from Memphis, Tenn., and Tennessee's all-time leader in offensive rebounding, Stokes was selected in the second round of last month's NBA Draft. Selected by the Utah Jazz with the 35th overall pick, Stokes landed with his hometown Grizzlies following a draft-day trade.
In summer league games, Stokes also boasts a +16.00 Player Impact Estimate (PIE), which measures a player's overall statistical contribution against the total statistics in games in which they play.
"I'm definitely a rebounder," Stokes said during a postgame interview on NBA TV Tuesday. "I think a lot of guys - especially as rookies - want to come in and do some things that the coaches don't want them to do. I'm not that kind of guy. I understand my money is made on rebounding and toughness. I'm also working on my game to expand it. But right now, I've got to be tough. I've got to find minutes right now."
Stokes is the only former Vol taking part in the Orlando NBA Summer League, but three former UT standouts begin play in the Las Vegas-based summer league this weekend. Jordan McRae will play with the Philadelphia 76ers, Scotty Hopson is suiting up for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Renaldo Woolridge will be with the Los Angeles Lakers squad.
McRae and Hopson's teams meet Monday, July 14.
Several NBA Summer League games are being televised on NBA TV. Fans wanting to watch Stokes in action can tune in for Memphis' game against the Houston Rockets Thursday at 7 p.m. ET.