Jasper models his game after Kidd

Kentucky freshman Derrick Jasper discusses growing up in California playing hoops. Jasper even ventured on to the grid iron, but after a single season opted to concentrate on basketball.

One year of playing football was enough for Derrick Jasper.

Jasper played a single season on the football field in the sixth-grade before settling on a career on the hardwood.

After his brief stint on the gridiron, Jasper played center in middle school, before his high school coach moved him to guard as a freshman.

Jasper, who played backyard ball with his brother Anthony, took advantage of his long arms when he played against older opponents, including his brother Anthony, who played football at Fresno City College.

"We always played each other when I was growing up, younger, at home," Derrick Jasper said.

Anthony Jasper is 12 years older than his younger brother, but that didn't stop Derrick Jasper from being competitive during pick-up games. In fact, Derrick Jasper said playing against older competition made him a better player, especially in high school.

"I always played against older players when I was growing up," he said. "It helped my ball handling because I was tall. When I was in high school (my team) needed a point guard, so (they) put me at point guard."

He began to take notice of Jason Kidd and followed his traits while he was at California. Jasper developed a passion for Kidd's style.

"He's my favorite player," he said. "He plays hard on defense, he gets heavily involved and he's a leader. He knows how to score, he knows to pass and he's such a great player."

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