The New York Knicks‘ 25th overall draft pick, Immanuel Quickley, has positioned himself as an integral part of the team. Devoted fans are already chanting his name. The 21-year-old point guard from Kentucky brings hope to this year’s season with his impressive scoring and court smarts.
The young rookie has an undeniable work ethic. Adhering to a strict pandemic schedule, Quickley is determined to bring his best to the Knicks. Off the court, the fan-favorite is showing the mentality of a young kid in the big city. He’s already made plans to head to the mall once it’s safe to do so.
Immanuel Quickley wasn’t the Knicks’ first draft choice
Not since Jeremy Lin has the Knicks fans been so excited about a rookie player. Despite being one of the best rookies in the entire league, the young Wildcat from Maryland almost didn’t make it to The Big Apple, according to NBA.com.
In the first round of the 2020 NBA draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder selected Quickley. The 25th overall pick, he was then traded to the New York Knicks. It was a surprisingly low pick by the Knicks. But Quickley has proved his worth. Scouts are now squirming about how they missed out.
The 2020 SEC Player of the Year ended his Wildcats tenure with an average of 16.1 points per game and a double-figure scoring streak in a 20-game stretch. Head coach John Calipari had nothing but praise for his former player. He told SB Nation, “He takes his conditioning seriously, has unbelievable discipline, unwavering faith, confidence, and spent just about all of his extra time in the gym.”
Fresh out of high school, the 6-foot-3 guard ranked as the 25th best prospect ESPN list of Top 100 Recruits. The young player, who eventually committed to the Wildcats, received 15 Division I offers. After a successful college career, the first-round hopeful entered the draft as what The Painted Lines referred to as “2020s most underrated guard.”
Quickley is a fan-favorite
Quickley worked hard right out of the gate to make a name for himself with the Knicks. Already a favorite, the impressive scorer is considered to be one of the best guards on the team. GQ says, “He has provided a beacon of light for a fan base that has lived and mostly dies with their stupid team for several decades now. He is hope in shorts.”
The 21-year-old took a break from his rigid practice schedule to discuss his “favorite recreational activity.” Ironically, it didn’t involve partaking in the party culture of the “city that never sleeps.”
Living outside of the city in White Plains, New York, Quickley seems like a simple young guy content with his restrictive schedule. He says he simply travels to practice and back to the hotel after games.
Immanuel Quickley lives in a bubble
Quickley admitted that he is pretty low-key, saying, “before the pandemic, I was really already in a bubble. I got to the gym, go home, and worry about my business … The going out in the city stuff doesn’t appeal to me.”
The rookie phenomenon explained that he prefers the quiet of White Plains. New York City is of the most exciting cities in the world. But, above all else, Quickley is excited to go to the mall once COVID restrictions end.
He told GQ, “I was in college in the time before COVID, so I went to school, that was about it. My pre-COVID thing was class. This is better. I just hoop and play video games. That’s enough for me.”
It’s enough for fans too, who flood to Twitter whenever the Knicks take the floor to sing their praises of Quickley, as USA Today details. Their all-caps comments, such as, “IMMANUEL QUICKLEY IS THE STEAL OF THE DRAFT,” is proof that the young point guard is winning over the Knicks fan base with his energetic style of play.
The young rookie’s laid-back attitude may prove beneficial. The hard-working guard can focus on the game he loves and not get caught up in the glamorous NBA lifestyle. It’s a win-win for everyone.