Bronx basketball player shoots for the stars as Phoenix Suns guard
The latest basketball player from New York City to make it to the National Basketball Association is doing it without taking the normal path.
Skipping college and going straight from prep school to the NBA, Jalen Lecque knows that success won't come overnight.
"It's just basketball to me so, you just don't get overwhelmed, you just play your game, and you do it every day so, you shouldn't be nervous so, you know your plans, you know what you have to reach and you know your goals, so just set those goals for the year and keep on working harder to overachieve them," says19-year-old Lecque.
Lecque is originally from the Hunts Point section of the Bronx and started his high school career at Monsignor Scanlan.
Lecque is now in the first season of his pro career as a guard with the Phoenix Suns, alternating time up and down between the G League and the NBA.
"It's a great opportunity to learn from guys every day, coaches, players, everybody, staff, it doesn't matter, just a great opportunity to just be here and just playing with these guys, the best players in the world," Lecque says.
"He's a young player who's learning how to be a pro,” says Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams. “He's got a ton of athletic ability and he's getting better."
That athletic ability has always been Lecque's signature with highlight reel dunks building him a big following on social media.
But to have a long career in the NBA, Lecque knows he'll need to be more than that.
"Just getting mentally stronger was the biggest part for me, mentally, just do what I know I can do. I work out every day. It's my job now, so I just got to do it, and just be the best I can be at it," Lecque says, especially after he didn't hear his name called in the draft, there was talk that maybe Lecque made a mistake, and maybe he should have gone to college.
Seeing the way things have played out since, Lecque says he's confident he made the right decision, and he wouldn't change a thing."
"I always had the chip on my shoulder since I was younger. Just putting the extra ones on is what I’m doing, just adding on to the fire that I’m trying to build up and trying to build... being a good player and having a good foundation,” Lecque says. “I know I’m going to do well in this, so I just got to keep on working and proving myself every day."
He has already played three NBA games and figures to get even more run down the stretch.