Matthew Bryan-Amaning Interview
Matthew Bryan Amaning led the Washington Huskies into the NCAA tournament with solid interior play. He also impressed at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament and measured extremely well at 6-10 with a 7'3 wingspan. We recently caught up wityh Matthew to discuss his future in the league.
NBADraft.net: The Huskies had a good post season run, winning the Pac-10 Tournament & pushing UNC in NCAA tournament. How did you find your senior season?
Matthew Bryan Amaning: It was a lot of fun. We played against great players and teams. We had success in the conference tournament beating Arizona in overtime. The NCAA tournament was also a lot of fun. Playing in Charlotte was a great experience, we played UNC there which was like an away game for us and a home game for them.
NBADraft.net: What is your best memory from Washington? When do you graduate?
Matthew Bryan Amaning: Best memory is probably my sophomore year when we won the conference championships outright, winning against Washington State in the last game.
I graduate in June with a degree in sociology.
NBADraft.net: The NBA has seen a few British players in the NBA over the years, most notably Luol Deng from the Bulls. Portland drafted Joel Freeland in the first round five years ago and we covered Eric Boateng (Knicks SL) last year in Las Vegas as well. Are you close with any of these guys?
Matthew Bryan Amaning: Yeah I speak with all of them. We play on the national team and work out together. I speak to Joel in the summer and I chat and text Eric frequently as well. I also speak with Luol and Pops Mensah-Bonsu. Growing up, myself, Luol, Eric and also Justin Robinson (Rider) played together on the same team so we are all close and speak regularly.
NBADraft.net: London is hosting the Olympic Games in 2012. Will you be representing the national team next year?
Matthew Bryan Amaning: Yeah definitely. This summer we have the Euro championships so all of these guys will be invited to camp and we should all make the team. I’m definitely looking forward to playing the best players on a big stage at home in front of family and friends next year.
NBADraft.net: You recently participated in the Portsmouth Invitational, averaging 17points and 6 rebounds in three games there. How did you find that tournament?
Matthew Bryan Amaning: Portsmouth was a lot of fun and different to what I thought. I thought it would be guards putting up a lot of shots and the event not being that friendly for big men. The tournament gave me the opportunity to show skills that I didn’t show at Washington. I was running the floor and pushing the ball. Our team went 1-2 and both losses were very close so we were competitive in every game. It was great fun seeing guys I haven’t seen since high school and AAU level and seeing how far their games have progressed since then.
NBADraft.net: What will you bring to an NBA team next season?
Matthew Bryan Amaning: Somebody that’s successful on and off the court. I work hard and play every possession like it’s my last. I’ve been through a lot, left my family and friends when I was 16 so I am a very mature player and teams won’t need to worry about me off the court. During my college career, I won 1 conference tournament and 2 conference championships so I will also bring leadership and a winning attitude.
NBADraft.net: How’s your schedule looking until June? Do you have workouts planned?
Matthew Bryan Amaning: I’m not attending the New Jersey workout and right now I'm working hard and preparing myself, getting ready for an invite to Chicago pre draft camp. I will then have team workouts after that. The dates aren’t set yet but there are at least 8-10 teams that want to work me out.
NBADraft.net: What part of your game are you looking to improve on as a pro?
Matthew Bryan Amaning: A lot of perimeter work. I am working on my 17 footer consistency and stretching out my range and continue working hard on ball handling and back to the basket moves and all the skills that I’ll need for my position in the NBA.
NBADraft.net: Who is the toughest Opponent you have played against on any level?
Matthew Bryan Amaning: I played against Derrek Rose in AAU who is now the leagues MVP. I was also in the same prep league as Michael Beasley. Individually, Derrick Williams from Arizona and I have had some good battles in the PAC-10. He has a lot of talent and could be the number 1 pick depending on the lottery.
NBADraft.net: Who is your favorite player? Who do you pattern your game after?
Matthew Bryan Amaning: LeBron is one of my favorite players with the things he can do on the court and his athleticism. As a big man though, probably Amare. He is a guy who attacks the rim and has a consistent outside jumper.
NBADraft.net: What are your thoughts on NBA playoffs? Any predictions, surprises?
Matthew Bryan Amaning: Dallas is surprising me right now with what they are doing to the Lakers. Growing up with Luol, I’ll always support him and it’s good to see the Bulls go up against Atlanta.
I am still trying to decide who will win. I think whoever comes out of the east will win. The Bulls-Heat conference finals will be a lot of fun to watch.