Jalen Pickett says Rochester taught him “toughness”, looks ahead to NBA Draft

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) – In a season where Penn State defied the odds – picked to finish 11th in the Big Ten and instead finishing runners-up in the conference tournament.

Jalen Pickett embodied that. But the unranked high-school prospect always had bigger dreams.

“This was the ultimate goal when I was done with college to be able to make money playing after and the goal was always to reach for the top. The top is the NBA,” said Pickett.

This isn’t a new story out of Rochester. Four Rochester products – all 25 years or younger – are currently on NBA rosters. Pickett is trying to them the Association.

“Seeing everybody’s success has been great, man. I think that’s really important for us. For as a community to come back and stay in contact and show the younger generation, you can do it from Rochester,” said Pickett.

Pickett says his head coach at Siena, Carmen Maciarello, and Micah Shrewsberry from Penn State both helped develop him into the player he is today. But he credits the toughness of growing up in Rochester, as the foundation.

“Rochester’s a tough place. It’s a tough city, and I think everybody who makes it and who has made it, brings that toughness wherever they go. I think that’s the best thing about Rochester. Some people might say it’s a bad thing, but I use it as a good thing,” said Pickett.

Pickett hopes that toughness shines through and he can be the next basketball star from Roc City to put on for his city, in the NBA.