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Kyle Kuzma

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Kyle Kuzma
No. 0 – Los Angeles Lakers
Position Power forward
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1995-07-24) July 24, 1995 (age 23)
Flint, Michigan
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Listed weight 220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school Bentley (Burton, Michigan)
College Utah (2014–2017)
NBA draft 2017 / Round: 1 / Pick: 27th overall
Selected by the Brooklyn Nets
Playing career 2017–present
Career history
2017–present Los Angeles Lakers
Career highlights and awards

Kyle Alexander Kuzma (born July 24, 1995) is an American professional basketball forward for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Kuzma grew up in the Flint, Michigan area and attended the University of Utah, where he played college basketball for the Utah Utes. Kuzma was named first-team all-conference in the Pac-12 as a junior in 2016–17. Kuzma was selected with the 27th overall pick by the Brooklyn Nets in the 2017 NBA draft, but was traded to the Lakers on draft night. Following his rookie season, Kuzma was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team.

Early life

Raised in the Flint, Michigan area, Kuzma is the son of Karri Kuzma, a high school shot put champion who attended college on a track scholarship. He has a younger half-brother named Andre and a younger half-sister named Briana.[1] Kuzma is biracial.[2] Kuzma met his father only once as an infant, but viewed the father of his half-siblings, Larry Smith, as a father figure.[3] Karri Kuzma and Smith put a toy basketball rim in the living room for Kyle when he was only two years old, thus igniting his passion for basketball.[4][5][6]

Kuzma has described Flint as "'a really violent place [where] there's a lot of temptation to get into the streets.'" However, Kuzma described basketball as his "'safe haven'".[7] Kuzma attended Swartz Creek Community Schools and transferred to Bentley High School in Michigan, where he averaged 17.9 points, 14.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 3.4 blocks per game as a junior.[8] Kuzma sent tapes of his shooting at the YMCA to preparatory schools; Vin Sparacio, head coach at Rise Academy in Philadelphia, "saw a 6'6", 175-pound, raw player who had a great feel for the game, and immediately brought him in."[9] As a high school senior at Rise Academy, Kuzma averaged 22 points and seven rebounds per game.[10] Kuzma received offers to play with Division I schools including Connecticut, Iowa State, Tennessee, and Missouri, among others, before deciding on the University of Utah.[11]

College career

Kuzma enrolled at the University of Utah in 2013. He redshirted his freshman year due to the fact that he signed late. He became a starter in his sophomore year, when he averaged 10.8 points per game.[12] As a junior in 2016–17, he averaged 16.4 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game, which earned him first-team All-Pac-12 honors.[13] After the season, Kuzma decided to enter the 2017 NBA draft, foregoing his final year of college basketball eligibility. Kuzma graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in sociology.[14][15][16]

Professional career

Los Angeles Lakers (2017–present)

Rookie season (2017–18)

Kuzma was selected with the 27th overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft by the Brooklyn Nets. In a draft-day trade, he was dealt along with Brook Lopez to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for D'Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov.[17] Prior to the draft, Kuzma had been projected to go in the second round or even undrafted.[18] On July 3, 2017, he signed his rookie scale contract with the Lakers.[19]

During the seven out of eight games he played for the Lakers (starting in six of the games) in the 2017 NBA Summer League, Kuzma led the team in points scored and became a consistent presence during the event. He recorded averages of 21.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.4 blocks, and 1.1 steals per game and was named to the All-Summer League Second Team that year. He was also named the Summer League Championship Game MVP after recording a double-double of 30 points and 10 rebounds in a 110–98 win over the Portland Trail Blazers in the championship match.

On November 3, 2017, in his first game as a starter, he notched his first double-double, with 21 points and 13 rebounds, in a 124–112 win over the Brooklyn Nets.[20] On November 17, he recorded another double-double by scoring 30 points, to go with 10 rebounds, in a 122–113 loss to the Phoenix Suns.[21] Kuzma was named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in October/November. In 20 games, he averaged a team-high 16.7 points while shooting 50.4 percent overall and a team-leading 37.9 percent on three-point field goals. He was the first ever NBA rookie to compile at least 330 points, 120 rebounds, and 30 made three-pointers in his first 20 games.[22] He was also just the sixth non-lottery pick to win the award in the first month of his career.[23] On December 20, he scored a career-high 38 points on 70% shooting in a 122–116 win over Houston, ending the Rockets' 14-game winning streak.[24] In the following game, he had a team-high 27 points in a 113–106 loss versus the Golden State Warriors to become the first Lakers rookie since Jerry West in 1961 to have scored 25 or more points in three straight games.[25] On May 22, 2018, he was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team.[26]

Career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

NBA

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2017–18 L.A. Lakers 77 37 31.2 .450 .366 .707 6.3 1.8 .6 .4 16.1
Career 77 37 31.2 .450 .366 .707 6.3 1.8 .6 .4 16.1

College

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2014–15 Utah 31 0 8.1 .456 .324 .556 1.8 .6 .0 .2 3.3
2015–16 Utah 36 35 24.1 .522 .255 .611 5.7 1.4 .3 .4 10.8
2016–17 Utah 29 29 30.8 .504 .321 .669 9.3 2.4 .6 .5 16.4
Career 96 64 21.0 .506 .302 .631 5.6 1.5 .3 .4 10.1

Awards and honors

NBA
College

References

  1. ^ Spezia, Mark (28 July 2017). "Mom's support, Flint roots buoy new Laker Kyle Kuzma's impressive summer". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 13 August 2018. 
  2. ^ Ganguli, Tania (27 March 2018). "Lakers report: Kyle Kuzma not afraid to tackle social issues". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 13 August 2018. 
  3. ^ Spezia, Mark (28 July 2017). "Mom's support, Flint roots buoy new Laker Kyle Kuzma's impressive summer". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 13 August 2018. 
  4. ^ Spezia, Mark (28 July 2017). "Mom's support, Flint roots buoy new Laker Kyle Kuzma's impressive summer". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 13 August 2018. 
  5. ^ Press, ed. (5 June 2017). "Kyle Kuzma: My Life As An NBA Draft Prospect". CBS. Retrieved 12 December 2017. 
  6. ^ Lee, Joon (5 October 2017). "'I Didn't Want to Go Back There': Lakers' Kyle Kuzma Talks About His Motivation". BleacherReport.com. Retrieved 13 August 2018. 
  7. ^ Press, ed. (5 June 2017). "Kyle Kuzma: My Life As An NBA Draft Prospect". CBS. Retrieved 12 December 2017. 
  8. ^ Spezia, Mark (28 July 2017). "Mom's support, Flint roots buoy new Laker Kyle Kuzma's impressive summer". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 13 August 2018. 
  9. ^ Lee, Joon (5 October 2017). "'I Didn't Want to Go Back There': Lakers' Kyle Kuzma Talks About His Motivation". BleacherReport.com. Retrieved 13 August 2018. 
  10. ^ Spezia, Mark (28 July 2017). "Mom's support, Flint roots buoy new Laker Kyle Kuzma's impressive summer". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 13 August 2018. 
  11. ^ Lee, Joon (5 October 2017). "'I Didn't Want to Go Back There': Lakers' Kyle Kuzma Talks About His Motivation". BleacherReport.com. Retrieved 13 August 2018. 
  12. ^ "Kyle Kuzma". University of Utah Athletics. Archived from the original on October 23, 2017. 
  13. ^ "Kuzma Named to All-Pac-12 First Team". University of Utah Athletics. March 6, 2017. Retrieved May 26, 2017. 
  14. ^ Hein, Brett (May 3, 2017). "Utah basketball's Kyle Kuzma to hire agent, remain in NBA Draft". Standard-Examiner. Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  15. ^ Spezia, Mark (July 28, 2017). "Mom's support, Flint roots buoy new Laker Kyle Kuzma's impressive summer". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on August 26, 2017. 
  16. ^ Why KYLE KUZMA Is The STEAL of the DRAFT. BBALLBREAKDOWN. October 17, 2017. Event occurs at 7:47. Retrieved November 19, 2017. 
  17. ^ "BROOKLYN NETS ACQUIRE D'ANGELO RUSSELL AND TIMOFEY MOZGOV FROM L.A. LAKERS". NBA.com. June 22, 2017. Retrieved June 22, 2017. 
  18. ^ Spears, Marc J. (November 14, 2017). "Kyle Kuzma is more than the Lakers' other rookie — he's got game". The Undefeated. Archived from the original on November 15, 2017. 
  19. ^ "Lakers Sign Ball, Kuzma and Hart". NBA.com. July 3, 2017. Retrieved July 4, 2017. 
  20. ^ "Running Diary: Lakers vs. Nets (11/3/17)". NBA.com. November 3, 2017. Retrieved November 5, 2017. 
  21. ^ Ramirez, Joey (November 17, 2017). "Kuzma Drops 30 But Lakers Can't Hold Back Suns". Retrieved November 19, 2017. 
  22. ^ "Kyle Kuzma Named Western Conference Rookie of the Month". NBA.com. December 1, 2017. Retrieved December 2, 2017. 
  23. ^ Ganguli, Tanya (December 1, 2017). "Lakers' Kyle Kuzma named rookie of the month, and he might play Saturday". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on December 12, 2017. 
  24. ^ Ramirez, Joey (December 20, 2017). "Running Diary: Lakers at Rockets (12/20/17)". Retrieved December 21, 2017. 
  25. ^ Ganguli, Tania (December 22, 2017). "Lakers put up a good fight but Golden State wins another division clash". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on December 23, 2017. 
  26. ^ "Donovan Mitchell, Ben Simmons lead 2017-18 NBA All-Rookie first team". NBA.com. May 22, 2018. Retrieved May 22, 2018. 

External links

  • Career statistics and player information from NBA.com, or Basketball-Reference.com
  • Utah Utes bio
  • Kyle Kuzma at USA Basket.com
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