Home Hair style NBA stars Mike Conley and Joe Ingles appear in the Voices event...

NBA stars Mike Conley and Joe Ingles appear in the Voices event on Tuesday

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Utah Jazz fan Kylen Broadhead, a 12-year-old basketball player from southern Jordan, didn’t think he would laugh much when his parents surprised him with tickets to Tuesday night’s ‘Voices’ event at Olympus High School in Salt Lake City with current Jazzman Mike Conley and former Jazz player Joe Ingles, traded a few months ago to the Portland Trailblazers.

Instead, Broadhead and her pal, Dexter Mason, laughed and smiled repeatedly as Ingles and Conley spoke to the audience and answered questions for more than an hour before snapping photos with lucky fans.

“It’s a lot of fun. You don’t play at 15 and you don’t have fun. … You don’t play that long and you don’t have fun playing. So it’s really the most fun thing to do that I – Utah Jazz Player Mike Conley on Basketball for a Living

“It was fun getting to know them better,” Broadhead said. “I didn’t realize they were such great comedians.”

Mason, also 12 and from southern Jordan, agreed.

“You could say they’re really good guys,” he said.

Indeed, the laughs were plenty as Ingles and Conley played well, deftly answering questions from KSL-TV’s moderator Debbie Worthen and screened-in questions from the audience, which filled about half the auditorium with ‘Olympus. Billed as “conversations with some of today’s most inspiring and influential voices” and co-sponsored by Deseret News, the series kicked off March 22 with the former University of Utah quarterback and of the NFL, Alex Smith.

Questions about Ingles’ recent trade to Portland were apparently off limits, so the night wasn’t as compelling as when Smith described his return from a career- and life-threatening injury. But most had a good time, as Ingles and Conley opened up about their feelings about Utah, raising families in the state and Ingles’ involvement with autism charities after her son, Jacob, was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum when he was 2 years old.

Conley, sporting a new hairstyle that he said was done on Monday, said very little about the upcoming NBA playoffs in front of the public. The Jazz open the playoffs in Dallas on Saturday. Portland did not make the playoffs, although Ingles would not have played anyway as he is still in rehabilitation (mostly at the University of Utah, he said) after undergoing surgery. ACL reconstruction on February 23.

In a backstage meeting before the event, Conley said the Jazz felt good about their chances, weren’t sure if injured Mavericks star Luka Doncic (calf strain) was going to play and were almost out. back to full power. . “We will be ready to play,” he said.

Conley was traded to the Jazz in June 2019 after 12 seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies and said his first thought about Utah was that it snows a lot here and it’s cold all year.

“When we got here it was mid to late summer and hot when everyone was out, something like over 100 degrees,” he said. “I’m like, ‘What is this?'”

Looking back, Conley said he had a “great introduction” to the state and was impressed with the camaraderie within the team. He said Ingles was one of the first jazz players to text and welcome him to Utah.

“The first thing he asked me was if I play cards,” Conley said. “I knew what that meant. I said, ‘No, I don’t play cards. I don’t have enough money to play cards with you.

Conley said he, his wife and three boys love Utah and all it has to offer, even though the rest of the family enjoys it more than he does.

“They are constantly doing things,” he said. “Every time I come home, they’re skiing somewhere, or they’re in St. George…or Arches (national park) or Salt Flats, or somewhere like that. I haven’t seen anything yet, so I can live through them.

Ingles, who also has three children, said Utah felt like home to his family and they enjoyed every minute of it. He referenced the elephant in the room – his trade from Utah to Portland last February after his knee injury – a few times, but offered no categorical opinion on the matter, nor any complaints.

“We loved it here,” he said, noting the family will return to Australia for the first time in three years this summer when his eldest completes the school year in Salt Lake City in June. “We’ll see what happens in the future.”

He said the “silver lining” of his injury is spending more time with his wife and family.

Asked what he likes in Utah, Ingles replied that there are a lot of underrated restaurants and noted with regret that growing up he thought Olive Garden was a great restaurant, which made her laugh.

Hearing this, Conley joked, “It still does.”

Prior to the discussion, Olympus High basketball player Jack Wistrcill, the Deseret News 5A MVP who heads to varsity ball at Northern Arizona University, presented the players with a school gift bag that included basketball jerseys- Titans ball (Olympus won the 5A state championship last month) and Olympus socks.

“It was really cool to have these very important people to the whole state of Utah come to our school and talk to us,” said Wistrcill, who was accompanied by the student body president from Olympus.

Wistrcill said what stood out to him was how personable and down-to-earth the players were after meeting them backstage.

“Everything they say is so genuine,” he said. “Like when the guy asked about ice cream, the answer was so real. They don’t invent anything. Everything comes from the heart. »

Speaking of which, Conley said his favorite flavor of ice cream is chocolate and Ingles never got around to giving his own. He said he could eat all the desserts he wanted now that he wasn’t playing right now.

Is playing basketball still fun for these veterans who have nearly 30 years of experience under their belt?

Absolutely, they said.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Conley said. “You don’t play at 15 and you don’t have fun. … You don’t play that long without having fun playing. So, it really is the most fun thing to do that I know of.

Talking about how fatherhood has changed him, Conley made the audience laugh when he told a story about how jazz star Donovan Mitchell, who is single, wanted to go out to eat after a game and Conley had to refuse “because I have to go home and change the diapers.

Ingles also opened up about how much he loves his family, saying, “My kids will always come first.”

Speaking about when he and his wife learned that Jacob was on the autism spectrum, Ingles said he cried, but not out of fear, shame or disappointment, but out of love.

“It’s been one hell of a trip,” he said.

When asked how he avoided a technical foul during his long NBA career, Conley said it was because he didn’t let adversity shake him.

“Guys are always trying to get under my skin,” he said.

Lisa Carter drove seven hours to the event to meet Conley, and after hearing that Conley invited her on stage for a hug and a signed basketball.

Ingles said when he was traded he thought he would be ‘throwing’ the event – postponed a few months ago due to COVID-19 concerns – but was happy to hear it wasn’t. would not be the case. He said he arrived from Portland on Tuesday afternoon after watching the Jazz-Blazers’ season finale Sunday night in the Pink City.

Asked about their final thoughts ahead of the photo portion of the event, both players took the opportunity to thank people for coming to the event despite the wintry weather and welcoming them to Utah there. years old.

And a few kids from southern Jordan thanked them for the unexpected laughs.