House guest: Lobo Jaelen House invited to participate in G League Elite Camp

May 6—Former Lobo Jaelen House has always been a something-to-prove type of player.

All he's ever asked for, he said on more than one occasion during his three-season career at the University of New Mexico, was an opportunity to compete on the court to show what he can do.

Monday, opportunity knocked.

According to Jonathan Givony of Draft Express and ESPN, House was one of three players added to the 44-man invite list for the two-day G League Elite Camp next week (May 11-12) in Chicago.

The camp features draft-eligible players who will run through drills and five-man scrimmages for two days in front of NBA scouts and front office executives. The best of the camp are usually offered invitations to the May 12-19 NBA Draft Combine, also in Chicago, where 78 pro prospects have been invited to compete, test and perform in front of the NBA's top executives and scouts ahead of the June 27 NBA Draft.

Last year, seven players from the Elite Camp event parlayed their performances there into Draft Combine invitations.

One NBA player to whom scouts and coaches have often likened House's high-energy, tenacious, pestering defensive style is Jose Alvarado (6-0, 179 pounds) of the New Orleans Pelicans. Alvarado was said to be too small coming out of Georgia Tech in 2021 before an invite to the G League Elite Combine set him on a path to his NBA career.

House, the 6-foot, 170-pound, lightning-quick point guard who was one of the best defenders in college basketball and finished this past season as the NCAA's active leader in steals, hopes to join this past season's Lobo teammate JT Toppin, the 6-9 Mountain West Freshman of the Year, who received an invitation to the NBA Draft Combine.

While House's college eligibility has expired, Toppin has until May 29 to decide if he will play professionally or collegiately next season. He has entered the NCAA transfer portal and is fielding offers through his agent for upcoming recruiting visits in addition to his trip to the combine.

Toppin, and House hopes to join him, is the first Lobo invited to the NBA Draft Combine since Alex Kirk, Cameron Bairstow and Kendall Williams were participants in 2014, one year after Tony Snell was in the event. Bairstow's 2014 draft selection by the Chicago Bulls marks the last time a Lobo was drafted, though Kirk, helped by his showing at the Combine and later that summer in the NBA Summer League, was an undrafted free agent who made the Cleveland Cavaliers' opening-night roster that season, joining Snell and Bairstow that year as three former UNM teammates in the NBA.

House in March won the Mountain West Tournament MVP award, carrying UNM to the league's tournament title with four wins in four days to break the program's decade-long NCAA Tournament drought.

In April, the Phoenix native was invited to play in the Reese's College All Star Game at the Final Four in Glendale, where he was named the game's MVP and later was named one of 15 Division I Academic All-Americans.

House, the son of former NBA champion Eddie House and nephew of former NBA player Mike Bibby, was asked in April what he had hoped this past season with the Lobos, his postseason run and the all-star game performance had showed NBA scouts.

"That I'm a complete player — I can play offense and I can play defense," House said. "If you watch some of the film or you watch my film, you will know that. ...

"(The NBA) has always been the main goal."

Lobos coach Richard Pitino after the season told the Journal in a podcast interview that he saw plenty of growth in House this past season.

"To see him go out the way he did was phenomenal," Pitino said. "Jaelen is — for one, off the court he is nothing like he is on the court. He is really soft-spoken. Never an issue of going to class. Academically did great. Great heart.

"There are certain guys you coach that you know you'll stay in touch with. He will definitely be one I'll stay in touch with. I love him. I appreciate him. But you're not going to get a motor like that again. You're just not. It's unique. It's special."