Peter Jok's NBA foray begins in earnest at combine

Mark Emmert

Peter Jok had an abbreviated peek into the NBA Draft process a year ago before opting to come back to Iowa for his senior season.

But this spring, his professional fortunes are on the line, beginning with this week’s NBA Scouting Combine in Chicago. Jok, a shooting guard who led the Big Ten Conference in scoring at 19.9 points per game, is one of 67 hopefuls who will go through drills in front of scouts Thursday and Friday.

What they’ll be looking for: Have shoulder and back injuries that dogged Jok for much of his senior season fully healed? And are there signs that Jok can defend as well at the next level as he can shoot?

Jok was originally passed over for the combine, but added as an alternate last week. He has been training in Phoenix, where he also made his last public basketball appearance. On that March evening, Jok won the NCAA men’s 3-point shooting contest.

Still, that lone elite skill has not been enough to get Jok mentioned in NBA mock drafts. His work this week at the league’s largest showcase for prospects will be aimed at changing some opinions.

Last year, Jok completed only one workout, with the New Orleans Pelicans, before straining ligaments in his thumb and needing three weeks to recover. But he’s been getting counsel from his cousin, NBA veteran Luol Deng, and feels more prepared to make an impact this year.

“After now, everybody’s good, everybody’s great, so you’ve got to come ready to play every time,” Jok told reporters before the Hawkeyes’ team banquet last month. “I learned from last year. I’m ready for this year.

“I know what I’m going into.”