Former Illinois State forward Jackie Carmichael is a man on a mission through this draft process.
“I feel like I have a chip on my shoulder,” Carmichael said. “I have something to prove to all these teams that even though I didn’t play in a power conference, I’m still a player that can play in the NBA and be successful and be a role player for whichever team that may be.”
The six-foot nine power forward blossomed into a leader and fierce competitor heading into his senior year with the Redbirds, averaging around 17 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks per game. Carmichael said one lucky NBA team will be getting a player who plays hard on every possession.
“I bring a high motor and rebounding on both ends of the floor,” Carmichael said. “I think I do that at a high level. I’m just an energy guy and a good teammate. I’m a guy who can do the dirty work and give 100 percent to whatever team I go to.”
Carmichael admitted all the training and workouts at the combine have taken a toll on his body, but he knows it’ll all pay off in the end.
“It’s been one of the toughest things I’ve ever had to put my body through,” Carmichael said. “That’s something I was looking forward to from the beginning and just being able to come out here and be in almost the best shape of my life. And that’s only going to continue. But being able to go through that and learn these different things from all these great trainers and coaches they have surrounding us has been amazing.”
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At Illinois State, Carmichael wasn’t always able to see the elite competition from the power conferences. Now, Carmichael is enjoying every moment of competing with the top talents from around the world.
“You see why they are some of the best guys,” Carmichael said. “That’s who you want to play against… Coming out here you get to play against those guys and earn their respect per say so it’s fun.”
Because he played in the Missouri Valley Conference, Carmichael didn’t get the national exposure he deserved. The 23-year old said he compares his game to LaMarcus Aldridge and two Chicago Bulls.
“I know he’s (Aldridge) about two inches taller than me,” Carmichael said. “But I like to think I have his finesse game and his jump shooting ability. And maybe a little bit of Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson, a banger inside and workhorse on both ends of the floor.”
Carmichael, who has had meetings so far with the Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks, and Miami Heat, isn’t planning on doing anything too flashy on draft night. But if the NBA comes calling, he won’t turn down the invite to the Big Apple.
“Hopefully, I’ll be in New York,” Carmichael said. “If not, I’ll be back in Manhattan (Kansas) sitting with my family. Nothing too big. I’ll just be waiting to hear my name called and going to whatever team’s city and going from there.”