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Former Memphis wing D.J. Jeffries joins Grizzlies Summer League roster

The Grizzlies have added a familiar face to their summer league roster. (Image Credit: Memphis Athletics)
By Roman Cleary - June 30, 2024, 5:04 pm - 0 comments

D.J. Jeffries is coming back home.

The 6-foot-7 forward, who began his college basketball career at Memphis, will play for the Memphis Grizzlies in this year’s NBA Summer League after working out for the team in May, according to multiple reports. He is the fourth former Tiger to earn an NBA contract this summer, joining David Jones (Philadelphia 76ers), Boogie Ellis (Sacramento Kings) and Nae’Qwan Tomlin (Cleveland Cavaliers).

”I’d been in [FedExForum] but I’d never been on the Grizzlies’ side of the Forum so it was a little different for me. I told [the Grizzlies] it was a bittersweet moment, because for like a day I felt like an NBA player,” Jeffries told WREG News Channel 3 after his workout. “Once I went in there and did it, it was fine. It was a big relief now that I know what to expect. You’ve got to go in there and be vocal, be in shape and just go in there and do what you do. But have fun—that’s the main thing—just have fun.”

Jeffries—a key piece of Penny Hardaway’s No. 1 recruiting class in 2019—became an immediate star as a freshman, averaging 10.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game while shooting 51.3% from the field and 39% from 3-point range. But his stellar campaign was cut short in late January when he suffered a knee injury that sidelined him for the rest of the year.

Jeffries’ numbers saw a steep decline in 2020-21. He made just 11 starts in 28 games, and shot a porous 44.3% from the field. The former Olive Branch High star still helped Memphis win the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) before transferring to Mississippi State that spring.

He ultimately spent his final three collegiate seasons as a Bulldog, during which he averaged 8.1 points and 5.4 rebounds in 101 games. He also helped Chris Jans’ club earn back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths in 2023 and 2024, though it was eliminated before the Round of 32 both times.

The 24-year-old Jeffries will presumably join former Purdue center and two-time National Player of the Year Zach Edey (Memphis’ first-round pick), former Washington State wing Jaylen Wells (Memphis’ No. 39 pick), former UConn guard Cam Spencer (Memphis No. 53 pick) and others on the Grizzlies’ summer league roster.


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