Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Jrue Holiday exchange love as they prepare to battle each other in coming days

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David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat forward Jaime Jaquez Jr., a member of Team USA’s Select Team, said he’s excited to play against Boston Celtics guard Jrue Holiday, a member of the primary Team USA squad, in the coming days.

Jaquez cited the fact that both played college basketball at the University of California, Los Angeles and mentioned this year’s first-round series between the Heat and Celtics as reasons why he’s looking forward to facing off against the two-time NBA champion.

Holiday was informed of what Jaquez said and proceeded to throw some praise in the 23-year-old’s direction.

“Lookin’ forward to playin’ against Jrue Holiday,” Jaquez said. “Former UCLA Bruin, played against each other in the playoffs — I’m excited to go up against him.”

Holiday reacted.

“A Bruin, obviously, you see how good he is and what he’s done in the league just as a rookie, so, I’m always excited,” Holiday said in reaction to Jaquez’s comments. “His ability to play, a Bruin brother, so, I’m really honored that he said that.”

Jaquez is one of 15 members of the Select Team. The squad is full of some of the best young players in basketball today: Jalen Duren, Cooper Flagg, Nigel Hayes-Davis, Trayce Jackson-Davis, Brandon Miller, Trey Murphy, Keegan Murray, Brandin Podziemski, Micah Porter, Payton Pritchard, Jabari Smith Jr., Amen Thompson, Jalen Suggs and Langston Galloway.

But, interestingly, three of the players on the roster — Flagg, Galloway and Hayes-Davis — are not playing for an NBA team at the moment.

The last time Jaquez and Holiday faced off against each other came in this year’s first-round playoff series between the Celtics and Heat. Holiday’s Celtics got the better of Jaquez’s Heat, as Boston won the best-of-seven series in five games and later went on to win the 2024 NBA title.

But the play of Jaquez was one of the Heat’s lone bright spots in a series where they were thoroughly outplayed. Against the Celtics, he averaged 12.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 0.8 steals per game. There’s an argument to be made that he played at a higher level than Holiday did during the series, even though the latter’s team came out on top convincingly.

Holiday had a hard time finding the bottom of the net against Jaquez and the Heat, considering he shot 35.0 percent from the floor and averaged just 7.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game.

Hopefully, footage of the two former Bruins competing against each other in Team USA’s practices will be released to the public.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA.