Posted by Drew Packham
LAS VEGAS — Getting rejected by NBA teams is nothing for Jaycee Carroll.
Carroll, a 27-year-old guard who has spent the last two seasons overseas, has a little experience in rejection.
“Honestly, I’ve learned how to deal with rejection,” Carroll said after finishing his stint with the Knicks in Las Vegas. “Walking through the streets, you get a ton of people saying, ‘Leave me alone.’ Here, you can get discouraged easily when you sit on the bench an entire game or when you’re trying to get a deal done with a team and they say, ‘We’re just not interested.’
“It can really get you down if you don’t see things in a positive light, and I really learned that on my mission,” Carroll said.
Carroll was impressive in Orlando, averaging 14.8 points in four games for the Celtics, showing off a nice jump shot with an ability to get into the lane for the floater. In Vegas, Carroll’s playing time was limited and he averaged just 6.5 points in 11.3 minutes per game.
Carroll has spent the last two seasons in Europe, first with Teramo of the Italian league, where he averaged 16.4 points. This past season, Carroll averaged 19.1 points while playing for Gran Canarias in the Spanish league.
The 27-year-old — who claims his “basketball age” is actually 25 if you consider his two years off — has enjoyed life on the European circuit with the help of his wife and 1-year-old daughter.
“They like it,” said Carroll, who played collegiately at Utah State. “They’re troopers and really they like everywhere we end up. We were on an island by the beach in the Canaries, so you can’t beat that.”
While Carroll’s ultimate goal is to get a guaranteed contract with an NBA team, he has a few offers on the table from European teams. If the call from the NBA doesn’t come, though, you can bet he’ll be just fine, thanks to his mission experience.
“[The mission] helped me have a good positive outlook on things,” Carroll said. “I’ve been through a lot more difficult times than playing basketball.”