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Jonathan Isaac Talks About His Excitement for Orlando Magic’s Future During Visit to Youth Basketball Camp

ORLANDO- As Jonathan Isaac snuck onto the RDV Sportsplex basketball courts in Maitland, Florida to surprise a group of youth basketball campers, he was met with absolute jubilation.

The 75 children on hand for an Orlando Magic Youth Basketball camp erupted with excitement for the opportunity to meet the 6-foot-10 NBA forward.

Isaac spent nearly an hour on Friday afternoon speaking to the group of children, answering questions, taking photos, and doing a few drills with the kids.

“We are just having some fun and surprising the kids at the Orlando Magic youth basketball camp,” Isaac said. “My little brother, Jeremiah, is here as well, so it was a little extra incentive to come out and say, ‘what’s up,’ and have fun with the kids.”

Always a captivating speaker, Isaac delivered messages to the kids about work ethic, teamwork, and the impact basketball camps had on his journey to the league. He also answered a wide array of questions ranging from basketball-related topics such as the most difficult player he’s had to guard in the league (Kevin Durant) and his favorite memory in the NBA (beating the Toronto Raptors in Game 1 of the 2019 playoffs ) to off-the-court subjects like his favorite cartoon (SpongeBob).

“It’s always exciting,” said Isaac. “Any time you get around kids, they’re obviously super bubbly and fun and excited to see you. So, it’s always fun. And to answer the questions, even as crazy as they are sometimes, it’s fun.”

One question that’s on everyone’s mind when it comes to Isaac is when he will return to the court. After suffering a torn left anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on Aug. 2, 2020 against the Sacramento Kings during the NBA restart at Disney, Isaac has missed the last two seasons while going through a rigorous rehab process. The latest obstacle in his recovery from him came on March 22 when the team announced that he had suffered a minor right hamstring injury and underwent a small surgical procedure.

While those trials and tribulations would be more than enough to break the spirit of many people, Isaac always falls back on his faith and attacks each challenge in front of him head on.

“The light is at the end of the tunnel now,” the Florida State alum explained. “I’m feeling great. I can see it and I’m just pushing every day.”

Due to his tireless work ethic and determination to successfully return from his injury, Isaac’s been in the gym throughout the offseason. As a result, he was on hand to observe many of Orlando’s summer league training camp practices and even headed out to Las Vegas to catch a few of the team’s games.

While taking it all in, he’s been blown away by the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, Paolo Banchero. The Magic’s rookie has stood out not only for his stellar play from him, but his tremendous maturity for a 19-year-old.

“He’s an impressive young kid with great IQ,” Isaac said of Banchero. “He’s just a big, big dude. He’s got great size, great vision, great passing ability. So, it’s just going to be exciting to get everybody together and see what we can make of it. I’m excited, I know the city is excited, and our team is really excited about what we can be. We’ve just got to get it done.”

Just as Wendell Carter Jr. expressed one month earlier, Isaac is enthused by the overwhelming potential and versatility of Orlando’s frontcourt. Between Mo Bamba, Banchero, Bol Bol, Carter, Isaac, Franz Wagner and Moe Wagner, there’s plenty of talent and length for Magic Head Coach Jamahl Mosley to deploy at any given time.

“I just think it’s special,” said Isaac, who looks in phenomenal physical shape and perhaps even taller than his 6-foot-10 listing. “The size and the versatility is unmatched in the NBA. I don’t know if we’ll be the biggest team in the NBA. Honestly, I’m (thinking we are) the longest and tallest team. It’s just exciting. I’m just excited to see what we can do when we really lock in and get the system around us and see where coach Mose wants to take it. I’m just nothing but excited.”

It’s exciting not only for the team, but for fans as well. And when Isaac once again takes the floor for the Magic, he can expect to receive a welcome that rivals the retirement and excitement he received from those wide-eyed youth basketball campers today.

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