The Los Angeles Lakers may have just unearthed a real gem during the 2023 NBA Draft. They scooped up Jalen Hood-Schifino as the No. 17 overall pick, and it seems like LA has some big plans ahead for this young man.

For his part, the 20-year-old could not be more excited to join the Lakers. After all, he has been a huge Kobe Bryant fan since he was a kid, and he considers it an absolute honor to wear the same uniform as his childhood idol.

There's going to be a lot of pressure on him too, though. After all, this is the Lakers we're talking about here. Be that as it may, the former Indiana Hoosiers star remains confident in what he brings to the table for his new team:

“I would just say I’m an all-around player,” Hood-Schifino said, via Jovan Buha of The Athletic. “I check a lot of boxes. Obviously, a big guard. I feel like I can score from all three levels. Really unselfish. Floor general.”

Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka agrees with Hood-Schifino's self-assessment. The high-ranking LA executive talked up Jalen's physical gifts and how this could help the kid excel in the NBA:

“He comes with such a great physical package and profile to be a great defender,” Pelinka said. “… He’s got all the skills with the length to disrupt passing lanes, disrupt shots. … He’s got a real physical presence. Big shoulders. Big back. … He’s really built.”

Jalen Hood-Schifino believes that he can be an elite defender for the Lakers. In his mind, this is the main quality that will allow him to set himself apart from the pack:

“Defensively, I can really guard any position,” Hood-Schifino said. “And me having a big body, a strong body, I think that’s gonna help me, obviously, guard point guards and guard bigger players. I think that’s one way that I’m gonna be able to separate myself to earn minutes as a rookie.”