Pacers Rookie Bennedict Mathurin Speaks With Daniel Bell About Sharing The Court For The 1st Time With Childhood Friend Thunder Lu Dort – BlackSportsOnline
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Pacers Rookie Bennedict Mathurin Speaks With Daniel Bell About Sharing The Court For The 1st Time With Childhood Friend Thunder Lu Dort

Two guys from the same area. Similar neighborhoods, same club team, and similar backgrounds. Both now pro athletes.

It’s a huge world so this doesn’t happen often. Yea, it’s happen before with guys from America. We’ve seen it over the years but even then, it still doesn’t happen often. Especially for guys who aren’t born in America.

Lu Dort and Ben Mathurin beat those odds. Being two guys who are from the same area, playing on the same club basketball team who made it to the NBA is very rare but they did it. Being the elite of the elite and part of a very select brotherhood. Living out their dreams of playing in the best basketball league in the world.

And now they got to share the court together for the very first time.

January 18th, 2022 in Oklahoma City marked a great and significant moment in time for not only Lu and Ben but also for their Montreal community, club team, and their Haitian community.

The relationship between the two formed a while ago when the two were kids in Montreal and it has only grown over the years. One that will last a very long time. They’ve spent a lot of time together over the years even when Lu made it to the NBA. The two would workout with each other before Lu made it to the NBA and it didn’t stop when he made it the league and Ben made it to Arizona.

Those workouts were extremely intense and made both better given their opposite skillsets. Lu is known for his defensive prowess while Ben is known for his offensive skillset. They didn’t take it easy on each other either but it for sure made them better and closer. When Ben got drafted, Lu was right there and they have each been waiting to get on a NBA floor together and now it’s here with family and their former club coach in the building to watch.

For Lu, he’s been in the league long enough to now be a vet and have someone look up to him and one of those players is Ben who gave an exclusive with BSO on his growing relationship with Lu Dort and everything it means to him.

You talked about how much you wanted to play against Lu [Dort] and how he was the guy you were looking forward to playing against the most. That time has come so how do you feel about it and how much are you looking forward to sharing the court with him?
"Good man, you know, it's a great 
day for me. Also the culture, 
the culture of Montreal. 
Having two players in the 
NBA right now facing each other, 
it'll be a great moment for the 
city of Montreal 
and also the Haitian community."
How cool is that? You two being from the same area, you guys are both Haitian, both Canadian, both went to Arizona schools, so how cool is that to share the floor with someone like that?
     "It's great man. If you know Lu, 
you know Lu worked really hard to get 
to here to where he's at 
right now and same thing for me. 
So it good to see that we weren't rivals 
until we A-Town [Arizona], he went 
ASU [Arizona State University] 
and I went to Arizona and now we're 
playing against each other for the first 
time in the NBA which is amazing. 
I feel like it's pretty good."
How did the relationship start?
     "I knew Lu...from since I was 
like 12. Just from hoopin. 
Hoopin in the park and I used 
to see Lu all the time hoopin. 
We used to play on the same club 
team when he was on the older team 
and that's when I first started 
to really get to know him."
At the combine you talked about how intense those workouts were and said it wasn’t just for fun and you guys were acting like it was a real game. Did you learn anything from those workouts?
     "For sure. He's one of the better 
defenders in the league so it was 
great to just play one on one against him 
before I get to the league and actually 
playing a real game and just to know 
what it's like to play against great 
defenders in the league and also just 
to know some strength and tips 
and advice."
You mention he’s one of the best defenders in the league. How much does that help you going against one of the best defenders in the league? Because guys are calling him a top three wing defender in the league and you got to go against him before you got to the league so did that help you?

     "I pretty much gave him the 
work [laughs]. 
You can ask him. But, it was 
great just to play against him. 
Growing up, he was always a 
good defender so it's 
amazing to play against him."

What’s that relationship mean to you?
"It means a lot. Our relationship is 
still growing. He's like a big 
brother to me basically. He's 
always been there for me when 
we were growing up. I feel like 
for it's an opportunity 
for me to show out."
Switching gears real quick, but the Canadian national team did pretty good over the summer. You guys have some talent. When you guys play there will be 5 Canadian guys sharing the floor. Could you see yourself playing with the national team one day?
     "For sure. It depends though. 
When the opportunity comes. 
Whenever, if it's the Olympics, if 
I'm fortunate enough to make the 
team and play with Lu and the 
other guys I feel like it'd be 
a great honor."
Have you, Dort, Shai, RJ, Wiggins, Jamal Murray, Shaedon Sharpe, and more. How good could you guys be and how dope would it be to play with those guys?
"We have a lot of good players. 
Great talent. 
It's only going up from here. 
We had three or four players 
make the league this year 
and I feel like we have a 
lot more talent coming."
Back to you and Lu, what is going to be the best part of sharing the court for the first time together?
"Just having...our coach here. 
Our club coach, we used to 
play for the same club team. 
Just a lot of people like 
his family here. And everybody 
watching the game at home. 
It'll be a great thing for 
the kids that are watching but also 
for the community of Montreal 
that are watching us for 
the first time"

Flip the page to see video of the interview

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