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Despite his notable high school and college achievements as a basketball player, Jairus Lyles ended up undrafted during the 2018 NBA Draft but this didn’t stop him from going after his dream of playing in the big league. He soon found himself a team in the league on July 12, 2018.
Just before he joined the NBA Summer League, Jairus Lyles led his college basketball team – Retrievers, to achieve a milestone. The team clinched a groundbreaking victory in a match against Virginia at the 2018 NCAA Tournament. The win became one of a kind in the tournament’s history. More details about the baller below.
Jairus Lyles Bio
His birth occurred on July 6, 1995, in Silver Spring, Maryland. Though his father played football, Jairus didn’t choose the same path but preferred to shoot hoops.
His known basketball performances started at DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland as a combo guard. Victor Oladipo who would later be named NBA All-Star player was teammates with Jairus in his freshman year. His junior season saw Lyles average 11 points and three assists per game. His team also reached the finals at the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) with his assistance. In his senior year, the school recorded one of its worst seasons, While he averaged 13.4 points and 4.3 assists per game, his team wrapped the season up with a 14–17 record.
Colleges like Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech and Penn State declared their intentions to have him on their teams but he chose Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) over the others.
When his college career eventually began, Lyles played for many teams starting with the VCU Rams where his freshman season (2013–14) under head coach Shaka Smart saw him average a mere 0.7 points, 0.2 rebounds, and 0.3 assists per game, recording two field goals alongside a season-high three points. The next season, he transferred to the Robert Morris Colonials of Robert Morris University but he didn’t get to play in the 2014–15 season, no thanks to eligibility rules. He later transferred again to play for the Retrievers of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Jarius’ time with the Retrievers turned out to be one of his best, with 23.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game, in addition to getting his hands on second-team All-America East Conference awards. His junior season came with bigger achievements and some record-breaking feats. The baller averaged 18.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 2.6 assists but that’s not all. He equally got the second-team All-America East honors amid a total of 604 points which shattered the school’s record for most points by a junior.
In his senior year, Lyles was a blazing arrow in his team by starting the season with 24 points with five assists. He then packed on more 31 points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals in his second game. He is also responsible for the season-best 35 points which led his team to win Hartford on January 15, 2018. Subsequently, he took the first-team All-America East title.
Jairus became popular on March 16, 2018, after notching 28 points and shooting 9-of-11, to lead UMBC to a 20-point unprecedented win over top-seeded Virginia at the first round of the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament.
With college career behind him, Lyles was ready for the big league but didn’t get drafted in the 2018 NBA Draft. This prompted him to join the Utah Jazz for the NBA Summer League and on July 12, 2018, he signed with the team.
Body Stats: Height, Weight
At 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m), Jairus Lyles may not be among the tallest NBA players but his skills speak for him. His weight is listed as 175 lbs (79 kg). The combo guard’s other body stats – wingspan, standing reach, and others have not been made public.
His father, Lester Lyles played American football in his heydays. Lester played for the Virginia Cavaliers of the University of Virginia (the same college his son later led his team to win against in one of his most memorable college basketball victories) in a four-year spell and won the 1984 Peach Bowl during that period. He later spent seven seasons as a player in the National Football League (NFL). The baller’s mom’ Carol Motley was also a learner at the University of Virginia but have no record in sports. Jairus Lyles has a sister – Symone, she played basketball for four seasons for her college team – the Ohio Bobcats.
His parents’ union didn’t stand the test of time as they soon divorced, leaving Jairus in his mother’s care.