Former UVA star Ty Jerome enjoying life as NBA veteran

Virginia's Ty Jerome (11) reacts after shooting a 3-point basket during the first half in the...
Virginia's Ty Jerome (11) reacts after shooting a 3-point basket during the first half in the championship of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament against Texas Tech, Monday, April 8, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)(Jeff Roberson | AP)
Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 9:35 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The University of Virginia men’s basketball team has seven former players on NBA active rosters.

That’s the 8th highest total in the league.

Mamadi Diakite is currently playing with the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA Finals.

They’re taking on the Suns, which is a very intriguing match-up for at least one former UVA player: Ty Jerome.

Jerome has technically been a member of three NBA franchises.

He was picked in the First Round of the 2019 Draft by Philly, and immediately traded to Phoenix.

After a year with the Suns, he was traded to Oklahoma City as part of the Chris Paul deal.

And while Jerome is not playing in the NBA Finals right now, his time on the court has been much improved.

“It’s been going well,” says Jerome. “This was a good year in Oklahoma. I had a great group of guys around me, great coaching staff, so it was a fun year.”

Ty Jerome was slowed by injuries at the start of his NBA career, but he stood out in the second half of the season for the Thunder.

The second-year guard averaged 10.7 points per game.

He was second on the team in assists, at 3.6 per game, as well as three-point shooting, at 42-percent.

Jerome more than doubled his minutes played following the trade, in a deal which has worked out well for both sides.

“For sure, you know there’s a business aspect, a little bit,” says Jerome. “But when you have the ability to tune all that stuff out, and just fall in love with the game every day, and continue to focus on basketball, and basketball only, and relationships, you can still find that joy and peace playing the game, and building relationships.”

He’s also maintaining relationships with his former college teammates.

Jerome says, “I speak to guys like DeAndre Hunter, and Devon Hall, and London Perrantes, and guys like that, almost daily. Those guys are some of my best friends.”

Ty Jerome held his first-ever basketball camp for kids in Charlottesville earlier this summer, sharing the wisdom of a real NBA player.

“It’s awesome,” says Jerome. “It’s what you dreamed about as a kid. It’s what I dreamed about, growing up. To say my job is playing basketball, is pretty cool.”

The NBA Draft takes place on July 29th.

Jay Huff, Sam Hauser, and Trey Murphy III could become the latest UVA players to make it to the league.

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