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QJ Peterson shares about his Knicks Summer League experience

An insider’s account of the Vegas tourney.

2023 NBA Summer League - Denver Nuggets v New York Knicks Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

On Instagram this weekend, guard QJ Peterson shed light on his summer league experience as a New York Knick.

Peterson honed his skills at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI), where he showcased his talents as a point guard. Check out the Appearances on Leaderboards, Awards, and Honors section of his page, and you’ll see that QJ is no scrub. He was the Southern Conference’s points-per-game leader for two seasons and was named a Big South All-Freshman.

Following his collegiate career, the 6’0” point guard participated in The Basketball Tournament (TBT). However, it was in the Chinese Basketball Association where he thrived.

While in the CBA, the 28-year-old led the league in three-pointers made, while ranking third in scoring. Averaging 28.7 points per game, along with 7.1 rebounds and 5.9 assists, Peterson demonstrated versatility as a well-rounded player. His accuracy from beyond the arc, shooting 37.9% from downtown on 12.4 attempts per game, added another skill to his repertoire.

In his Instagram post, Peterson explains how his agent secured him a minicamp invite with the Knicks, which included about 16 players.

Evidently, he performed well during the three-day minicamp and thanked Coach Tom Thibodeau for the opportunity. Thibs, sounding right gentlemanly, emphasized the importance of being a defensive force as a small guard. That Thibs…never deviates from the script!

Despite potentially limited playing time and alternative lucrative offers from other teams, Peterson chose to accept a spot on the Knicks summer league roster, understanding the team’s emphasis on younger players.

Peterson accepted the opportunity, driven to prove his worth and secure playing time by demonstrating his skills. He vowed to be a diligent worker and a leader and support the development of younger players on and off the court.

His dedication to defensive drills during summer league practices impressed Thibs, and despite not playing in the first game, Peterson encouraged the younger players. In the second game, He showcased his skills with an immediate 3-pointer and rabid full-court pressure.

After two losses, Thibs emphasized the importance of winning to the summer league head coach, Coach Dice Yoshimoto. That resulted in more playing time for Peterson, and in game three, he helped to lead the team to a comeback victory.

In four of five games he played, Peterson averaged 17.2 minutes per game, contributing 12 points per game, which ranked fourth on the team. Peterson also showcased his playmaking abilities by averaging 2.5 assists per game, and exhibited his defensive prowess with 1.3 steals per game (he was pretty thefty in college, too). He also grabbed 3.8 boards per game. A well-rounded contribution!

His teammates commended Peterson for his tenacity. “To hear that from a group of guys who I’ve only known for 2 weeks means a lot to me! This entire summer league has been an amazing experience!! I had chances where I could have quit, could have had an ego, could have said I’m better than this, yet…I made it bigger than myself!!”

QJ Peterson’s Summer League performance must have caught the attention of the coaching staff and other league scouts. His combination of scoring ability, three-point shooting, playmaking, and defensive skills make him a promising prospect. Chances are good, we’ll see him again.