Now half-way through his impressive rookie season, DeJuan Blair has gained notoriety for his on-court production and his humble off-court persona. The rookie, who prepared for the NBA draft last year at IMG Academy, recently competed among the league's best young stars during All-Star weekend in the Rookie-Sophomore Challenge. Dan Barto, Pro Development Coordinator for IMG Academy basketball program, reflected on Blair's character in an article from the Pittsburgh Sports Report:
And while Blair is probably lucky to have good people in his life, it is his conscious decisions that have made it that way.
"He surrounded himself with some great people," said Dan Barto, who helped train Blair for the NBA Draft at IMG Academy in Florida. "DeJuan has shown a track record of being able to deal with adversity and deal with tough choices. Most athletes do a terrible job of staying home and going to school because there can just be so many distractions. But he did a tremendous job of staying at home and being successful in a very difficult environment. He did it because he's able to stay focused."
This time Saddler agrees.
"He's always the same. You never could get a read off of Juan. You don't know if his dog just died or if he just hit the lottery," Saddler said. "He's just gonna hug you and kiss on you and be all lovey-dovey and that will not change. Never."
Visit the Pittsburgh Sports Report for the full article on DeJuan Blair.