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Former University of Michigan basketball player Zavier Simpson organizes players during a camp at Columbia Central High School on Saturday. 

By Jeff Steers
JTV Sports

(August 21, 2022 9:52 AM) If the National Basketball Association doesn’t work out, coaching youth basketball may be an option for former University of Michigan guard Zavier Simpson.

But playing in the NBA has been his dream.

Simpson played the remainder of the season for the Oklahoma City Thunder last April and played well. 

He averaged 11 points, 7.5 assists, and 5.3 rebounds for the Thunder in a limited number of games.

Simpson has signed to play on an “exhibit team” for the Orlando Magic this season.

“This situation (trying to break into the NBA) is pretty tough,” Simpson said. 

Simpson played for the University of Michigan for four seasons and led the Big 10 in assists per game in his senior season with nearly eight per game. 

He signed with the Los Angeles Lakers as an undrafted free agent at the end of 2020, but was cut two months later. 

Simpson played for the Oklahoma City Blues of the NBA G League and joined the Lakers for the 2021 NBA Summer League in 2021.

He again signed with the Blue and averaged 12.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 6.2 assists in 47 games.

Simpson said coaching is something he will definitely be interested in after his playing days end.

“I helped at a camp a few years in Brooklyn and enjoyed the atmosphere and the kids working hard,” Simpson said. “I wanted to come back and do it again.”

Older students participated in the camp in the morning and younger ballers worked through drills in the afternoon.

Zavier Simpson works with players during a camp at Columbia Central High School on Saturday. Photos by Jeff Steers, JTV Sports.

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