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NBA Summer League Recap: Former Notre Dame Stars Highlights

NBA Summer League play in Las Vegas has wrapped up, and a few former Fighting Irish stars had their chance to show the NBA what they can do. Here are a few of the highlights.

Jerian Grant and Pat Connaughton, NBA Summer League standouts, back in their Notre Dame days
Jerian Grant and Pat Connaughton, NBA Summer League standouts, back in their Notre Dame days
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Jerian Grant Earns Finals Game MVP

In a thrilling and dramatic NBA Summer League championship game last weekend, former Notre Dame basketball All American Jerian Grant earned the game MVP honors with a 24 point, 10 rebound, five assist performance, leading the Chicago Bulls. A few other familiar faces from 2014-2015 college basketball season were on the court alongside grant, including now-teammate Denzel Valentine, who faced off against the Irish with Michigan State early in that season (a Notre Dame overtime victory). Leading all scorers in the game was Tyus Jones, standout from Duke's 2015 national championship season, which also featured some memorable run-ins with the Irish. Here are some highlights and Grant accepting his award.

This year will be Grant's second year in the league and first in Chicago, after coming over from New York in the Derrick Rose deal. Grant will look to fill in behind the Bulls' newly acquired guards Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade.

Demetrius Jackson Starts for Celtics

Meanwhile, Grant's running mate during the first of Notre Dame's recent Elite Eight runs (and leader of the second) earned playing time in Las Vegas after being drafted in the 2nd round by the Boston Celtics. Jackson played in eight games for the Celtics, including three starts, and averaged a little over 16 minutes per game. His stats won't jump off the chart - five points, two boards and an assist per game - but Jackson looked confident in his appearances.

The Celtics have a very crowded backcourt coming out of Summer League, with the starting point guard duties locked down by budding star Isaiah Thomas. Jackson came into Summer League in all likelihood competing with Boston's first round pick from a year ago - former Louisville standout and another familiar name, Terry Rozier. That isn't likely to change before training camp rolls around.

Zach Auguste Likely Earns His Spot

If you caught any of the Summer League games on WatchESPN, you would have noticed playing time dwindling as the league play and the tournament went on for Zach Auguste. This would seem, however, to be a good sign, as most observers believe Auguste punched his ticket to training camp in LA with his play early on. Auguste was undrafted and signed by the Lakers. With Brandon Bass signing with the Clippers, Auguste will look to break into a roster that is already crowded with competition from guys like Timofey Mozgov, Tarik Black, Ivica Zubak, Larry Nance Jr., and so on.

Much like the Zach Attack Irish fans remember, Auguste showed great energy and aggressiveness, and shined on the pick and roll. At about 15 minutes per game over four games, Zach averaged five points and four boards.

Pat Connaughton Shines

Many highlights from Summer League competition featured former two-sport star Pat Connaughton, including a few dunks and a sudden-death, game-winning three. In his second year in Portland, Pat will be looking to garner more significant playing time for a playoff contender. Connaughton had a strong showing leading the Trailblazers with 14.4 points per game.

Also, how great are the Summer League overtime rules? Sudden death!

Jack Cooley Earns Playing Time

Alongside Jerian Grant for the tournament-champion Chicago Bulls was former Irish standout Jack Cooley. Cooley has been a fringe NBA player in his two years as a pro, having played for the Utah Jazz, Cleveland Cavaliers, Idaho Stampede, Baloncesto Málaga, S.A.D. in the Euroleague and Trabzonspor Basketbol Kulübü in the Turkish Super League. Cooley put up nine points and pulled down four points per game.