Welcome back to the second edition of the Spurs Rookie Roundup. After a short hiatus, I’m back with coverage for this column that covers the three San Antonio Spurs rookies. With the preseason on the horizon, prepare yourself for juicer writing pieces over the rookies as we’re diving in head-first across the site on them.
So, to ease your curiosity, check out what the rookies are up to below.
Jeremy Sochan is Encouraging His Teammates
If you look at this Spurs squad, you could argue that this young team doesn’t have a “true” leader. While some may point to forward Keldon Johnson or center Jakob Poeltl–watch out for Jeremy Sochan to step up.
In a video on the Spurs official Twitter, Sochan motivates point guard Joshua Primo in the weight room. To some fans, this gesture may be small, but seeing Sochan already making his voice heard is encouraging, as he is a critical piece of the franchise’s future.
Outside of the gym, the rookie out of Baylor has been relatively quiet outside of showing off his Star Wars fandom in an Instagram story. Given the summer fans have gotten from certain players, it’s a good sign that the rookie has been quiet. I imagine Sochan is putting in work behind the scenes, but expect more content to ramp up from him as we approach preseason and the regular season.
Malaki Branham is in the Lab, Working on His Craft
I don’t know about you all, but I swear I see every athlete always posts videos of themselves working out in the offseason and caption it with “in the lab.” While guard Malaki Branham didn’t directly use the phrase in his caption for his mixtape he posted on Instagram of him working on his game, it’s great to see him striving to get better.
It’s encouraging to see Branham working on his craft because the two things that he struggled with during gameplay were being too hesitant in terms of shooting and playing out of control. If he can consistently hit his outside shot, Branham could smell a lot of minutes early. I mean, he did show he has the “strap” from deep in his last Summer League Game, so he needs to let loose and make it rain everywhere.
(Please, play him, Pop, someone needs to hit a three this season. It was tiring seeing clanks last year–I felt like I had to go out there to make one shot.)
Blake Wesley and His Fellow Rookies Gave Back to the Community
If there was one thing that I love that Coach Gregg Popovich preaches to his players, it’s the importance of giving back to the community. From the days of the Big Three to the modern-day Spurs, volunteering in the community is in their blood. That makes the rookies’ visit to the San Antonio Food Bank no surprise.
Love to see our guys giving back to the community 🤝
Some of the squad recently volunteered at the @safoodbank and learned more about the fight against hunger. pic.twitter.com/rJsQsyvipP
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) September 2, 2022
While it wasn’t just the rookies in attendance, it’s nice to see them impacting the community.
While it may be a season that tallies many losses, it’s a good sign to see the rookies striving to get better. Even if they do suffer many losses–it will only help them grow. So, my message to Spurs fans who want to be Debbie Downers, ride the ship and enjoy the ride. A new era of Spurs basketball will come, be patient.
See you all next time on the Rookie Roundup.