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Another Lindsey makes name for himself in Utah basketball

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(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Olympus' Jake Lindsey, 44, blocks the shot of Woods Cross' Hayden Grant. Olympus High School defeated Woods Cross High School 50-43 during their 4A 2013 State Championships playoff game at Dee Events Center in Ogden, February 26, 2013.

By Tony Jones

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Jul 29 2013 10:25AM
Updated Jul 30, 2013 08:41AM

On one possession, Jake Lindsey could find himself playing power forward for Utah Pump N’ Run and his coach Todd Phillips. That can be odd, considering that he’s all of 6-foot-4 and best suited to be a point guard.

On another trip, Lindsey could run the offense. If you watch for a few more possessions, he’ll be on the wing, catching and shooting. It all adds up to one versatile package.

He’s one of the more outwardly competitive players in Utah’s high school hoops scene. He’s got the attention of Utah, Utah State and Weber State, and has done it one year after transferring from the San Antonio area.

Jake Lindsey is also the son of Utah Jazz General Manager Dennis Lindsey, the man who changed the face of the franchise in a summer of swift action.

"It’s not bad," Jake said of being a younger Lindsey. "It definitely has its advantages. There’s a little pressure, but honestly I put a lot of pressure on myself."

If he didn’t have a famous father in what is a tight-knit basketball community, Jake Lindsey still would be turning heads. His talent is easy to spot; it’s the reason he stood out in his sophomore year at Olympus High School in Holladay.

He’s capable of playing any of the three perimeter positions. He’s tough and skilled off the dribble and able to penetrate the lane. Lindsey makes life difficult on his opponents defensively with his long arms and anticipation. He’s an effective passer and a smart player, with or without the ball.

Most importantly, his teams always seem to win.

Utah Pump N’ Run’s 17-and-under red team won the Gold Bracket of the Adidas Super 64 this past weekend in Las Vegas. Lindsey was a starter for Phillips, as well as the only rising junior on the team. But that’s Lindsey’s value as a player. He’s been able to integrate himself into a number of different situations and be successful over the past few years.

"He’s becoming a really good player," Dennis Lindsey said. "He’s realizing how much talent he has. He’s always worked hard at becoming a better player. It’s hard sometimes to be a father and watch him. Sometimes, I’ve been too overbearing and we’ve clashed. I realized that I had to step back and let him grow."

Jake credits his father for a competitive fire that stands out in his game and demeanor. The two are close. On draft night in June, when the Jazz acquired Trey Burke in a surprising trade, Jake sat quietly in the media room and watched his father work.

This past week, Dennis spent his time rotating between the USA minicamp where two members of the Jazz — Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors — were playing, and Jake’s AAU games.

Together, the two have made quite the splash in their respective fields. Dennis imposed his imprint on the organization this summer, while Jake will enter his junior season as a talented guard with great potential.

"Jake’s really smart and he’s very talented," Phillips said. "He’s one of those guys who can help you in a number of ways. He’s played really well this summer, considering that he played on the older team. He should’ve been on our 16-and-under team. He’s got a lot of potential."

With interest from the local schools, Lindsey hopes to turn them into concrete offers. He knows his jump shot needs to improve; it stands right now as the weakest part of his game. As is, his potential is intriguing. He started his freshman season in high school as a 5-10 point guard. He’s now 6 inches taller. He may have another growth spurt in him before he reaches college.

"When I moved here, I was a little nervous," Lindsey said. "But everyone has done a really good job in making me feel comfortable. I think everyone finds their level. It depends on how much work you put into it."

tjones@sltrib.comTwitter: @tjonessltrib

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