Memphis Hustle's Christian Vital Talks Hoops, Chess, and Spreading Positivity

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After four years at the University of Connecticut, NBA player Christian Vital, unfortunately, went undrafted in last November’s draft. 

However, unlike other ex-Huskies from this year’s draft class, he had an opportunity to play in the G League. Vital was signed by the Memphis Grizzlies last month only to be waived after they signed Shaq Buchanan.

Per Rob Joyce of, Vital was signed to an Exhibit 10 deal, so he will start the season in Orlando with the Memphis Hustle, as he looks to showcase his talents in the NBA G League. 

Vital recently spoke with ONE37pm about preparing for this upcoming season with the G League’s Memphis Hustle, expectations, and how he wants to use his platform for positivity. 

ONE37pm: Can you share with us how UConn helped prepare you for the NBA?

Vital: U Conn helped me prepare for the NBA in many ways. If you have any hopes of playing basketball at the next level, you want that next step to be the league. When you go on a recruitment trip and walk into the Gample Pavilion & Werth Champions Center, you see where guys like Ray Allen, Rip Hamilton, Caron Butler, Kemba Walker, Shabazz Napier, Andre Drummond, Rudy Gay, and Emeka Okafor walked before you. You see the university’s history and you’re working towards that as a player. So, when attending UConn, thinking of playing in the NBA is part of the process. It's not reinventing the wheel; there is a tradition at UConn, and you try to create a space within that tradition for yourself.

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