BALTIMORE — Former DeMatha Catholic High School star Jairus Lyles, coming off a strong career at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where he led the Retrievers to a massive upset of No. 1 Virginia in last winter’s NCAA tournament, was signed by the Utah Jazz on July 12. Lyles has been playing for the […]
BALTIMORE — Former DeMatha Catholic High School star Jairus Lyles, coming off a strong career at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where he led the Retrievers to a massive upset of No. 1 Virginia in last winter’s NCAA tournament, was signed by the Utah Jazz on July 12.
Lyles has been playing for the Jazz during the 2018 NBA Las Vegas Summer League. He appeared in one game and posted 11 points, four rebounds and four assists in a 90-85 victory over the New York Knicks.
Also, Lyles played in two games in the team’s Summer League, averaging 7.0 points, 3.5 rebounds plus 2.0 assists more than15 minutes per game. Lyles played a lot of shooting guard at UMBC, but he has been moved over to mostly point guard duties with Utah so far and is off to a good start.
“We are so excited for Jairus as he enters the next chapter of his basketball career,” UMBC Head Coach Ryan Odom said. “The entire Retriever Nation will be pulling for him as he pursues his dream of playing in the NBA.”
Lyles gained national notoriety when he nailed a three-pointer in the final seconds of the America East championship game that gave UMBC a 65-62 victory over host Vermont. He finished that game with 27 points.
The following week, the guard scored 28 points thanks to 9-for-11 shooting from the field as UMBC became the first No. 16 seed in men’s tournament to beat a No. 1 seed, stunning Virginia 74-54.
Lyles hit numerous shots from the outside as the Retrievers shredded the Cavaliers’ tough defense. Overall, he set a UMBC record for most points in a season (665). He also became the school’s initial first-team America East pick in a decade.
He played well in high school at DeMatha and went to Virginia Commonwealth University but eventually transferred to UMBC where he wound up playing parts of three seasons and 86 games overall.
Lyles talked the week of the Virginia game as the Retrievers were getting ready to pull off the upset that nobody saw coming. Lyles said that he learned so much during his time at DeMatha, which helped him become a better player at UMBC.
“Just being around great people, great coaches, great players (helped at DeMatha),” Lyles said back in March. “A lot of those players from DeMatha I got to play with are in the NBA now, so (I was) just learning how they acted and taking every step that they took.”
He finished UMBC with a double major in psychology and sociology. Lyles NBA journey has begun.