Ayo Dosunmu carries himself with a maturity that belies his tender age of 21, both on and off the court.
But the rookie from Morgan Park HIgh School and University of Illinois flashed some innocence when he failed to fully understand a line of questioning about being introduced as "from Chicago . . ." before his first NBA start Monday night.
Typically, players are introduced by their colleges. And since Dosunmu stayed in state and played at the University of Illinois, he didn't at first fully grasp a question about the development.
"They asked me," Dosunmu said. "I’m from Chicago. Chicago, Illinois, it’s all the same thing really. Chicago is in Illinois. But I’m from Chicago. I love Champaign, but I’m from Chicago."
The choice carries significance because it's how the Chicago Bulls used to introduce Derrick Rose.
"Yeah, he’s from Chicago too," Dosunmu interjected, innocently. "We’re both from the south side."
Told by a reporter the significance of Dosunmu's introduction mirroring that of Rose's, the rookie finally understood.
"Ohhhhh, OK. There we go," he said, capping a humorous exchange. "That’s a bonus of course because he’s a legend and everything he did for the city of Chicago. Being from Chicago of course, there are areas I look up to his journey."
But then Dosunmu flashed the aforementioned maturity and spoke with eloquence about the introduction.
"I like to be proud to say I’m from Chicago because I know the ups and downs of the city," Dosunmu said. "I’ve been here my whole life. I’ve seen so many things, so much tragedy. For me to be in this position, doing what I love at the highest level, anytime I get an opportunity to show love to where I came from, I always love to do that."