Pacers first-round pick, Bennedict Mathurin turned 20 years old this past Sunday. Four days later, his life has drastically changed. Mathurin is now a top ten NBA draft pick and after growing up in Montreal, developing his game in Mexico and going to college in Arizona, he’s also a Hoosier.
Mathurin met with the media at the Barclays Center and then via Zoom with local media in Indy after getting a call from Rick Carlisle, Kevin Pritchard and Chad Buchanan to break the news.
Much like last season’s top pick, Chris Duarte, Mathurin has a humble streak born of the struggles he went through to make it to the NBA. Although, Mathurin seems to have a little more swag to his personality which should make him a fan favorite in a hurry.
Check out the call from Carlisle and the transcript from the Barclays interview.
NBA Draft transcript
Q. Could you talk about what you’ll bring to the Pacers?
BENNEDICT MATHURIN: Yeah, I mean, I bring my heart to the Pacers. I’m really fortunate for them to draft me. My goal is to have an impact already on both ends of the floor and bring W’s to the team.
Q. What are you going to buy with your first official NBA paycheck, and who are you looking forward to playing against?
BENNEDICT MATHURIN: To be honest, I’m not going to spend my money. I think most of it, I’m just going to save it. I’m looking forward to playing against Luguentz Dort a lot. We’re from the same neighborhood, so he’s the one.
Q. You’re going to a team with Haliburton, one of the best playmakers in the game, and obviously you yourself have a great ability to score the ball. How excited are you to get that chemistry together working offensively?
BENNEDICT MATHURIN: I feel like I’m pretty excited, to be honest. Tomorrow I’m going to wake up and be a Pacer. Just having the chance to play with Tyrese, Chris (Duarte) and the other guys on the team is going to be fun.
Like you said, Tyrese likes to pass the ball. He can really pass the ball. He’s a great teammate, as well.
I’m really looking forward to playing with them and just having fun playing the game.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about how the NBA Academy prepared you for the NBA level?
BENNEDICT MATHURIN: I would say the NBA Academy helped me a lot. Just getting used to the NBA lifestyle basically, just living by myself. I come from Montreal. For the team, lived in México for two years. Learned a new language, new culture, started eating tacos and stuff.
I feel like it really prepared me. Just living by myself and being a grown-up at a young age, basically.
Q. What guys are you excited to match up against, and who did you model your game after?
BENNEDICT MATHURIN: One guy I’m really excited to play against is Luguentz Dort. We’re from the same neighborhood. I used to see him, call him my big bro. Now we’re at the next level, so it’s about time for me to show him who’s really the big bro. Looking forward to playing against him.
Some players I like to model my game after are Jimmy Butler, Jaylen Brown. I feel like they’re two really good comparisons for me, but also they’re just two-way players and they’re like dogs inside of them.
I mean, it’s great. Those two players are really some players I put myself to.