Tell me about your workouts.
How have they been going so far?
They’ve gone really well, I’ve done about 10 so far and have 4 or 5 more to go.
I feel good about how I’ve done, and I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback.
How’s your body feeling with all that you’ve got going on right now?
Well, I was in New Jersey yesterday
and then I flew to Sacramento and got in at like midnight or one in
the morning and I had to be up for a workout this morning, and now I’m
at the airport heading home for a day of rest before more workouts.
It’s a little bit grueling but I know a lot of people would kill to
be in my position so I’m not taking anything for granted. I’m
very appreciative of this opportunity.
Which players that have
worked out with you have impressed you the most?
Obviously in this process everyone’s
pretty good. I’ve gone up against Chase Budinger, DaJuan Summers,
all the top small forwards… Austin Daye.
What do you do better than
all those guys you just mentioned?
I bring a lot of versatility
to the court. My ceiling is high, but I’m not a project, so
I can help a team right away next year. You know, I can shoot
it, I’m athletic, but I also use my brain out there. A good
player has to play smart.
What are you hearing about
where you might be taken and who has expressed interest in you?
It’s up in the air.
I got good feedback from everyone right now. 1st round
is what I’m hearing. A lot of teams are interested… but at
the end of the day that’s kind of a moot point because you never know
who really means it. I’m an optimistic person, but at the end
of the day even if a lot of teams love me, it’s irrelevant if they
don’t pick me.
What have you worked on
most from last year to this year, and right now as you prepare for the
My aggressiveness. I’ve
been working on becoming a better one on one player. My jump shot
is pretty consistent now… but most of all, my aggressiveness.
Many scouts say that in
order to make it in the NBA, you have to have at least one skill that’s
transferable to the next level that can make you successful. What
would that be for you?
Playing numerous positions.
I can guard smaller shooting guards and bigger post players too.
That’s my strength – my versatility.
Who in your life has always
given you advice you can count on?
My father. He’s always given me great advice, not just about basketball but
about life. I’m blessed to have that.
Tell me about your upbringing… what was your family life like?
I grew up in Oakland, then
I moved to Dayton, Ohio and you know, my parents split… my mom’s
from Dayton and my father’s still in Oakland. I got an older
sister who’s 27 and she just got married, and I had a close net group
of friends as a child. As far as me, I’m a chill guy, I mean
I’m outgoing, but I like to just chill. I’m a watch-a-movie-on-a-Friday-
kind of guy.
Were your parents athletes?
No. Actually it’s funny.
They always joke around about where I got my athleticism from, because
they really weren’t athletes.
What was your first basketball
Oh man. Let me see.
When I was in the fourth grade, I was playing center and I stopped growing
for a while. It was funny because I was always really tall when
I was young, and then I just kind of stopped growing. I was like
6’0" as a freshman, and I played point guard for the team as a freshman,
and then one summer (I think between sophomore and junior year) I had
a growth spurt, and everyone was like, "we knew you were going to
be tall." I’ve played a lot of positions over the years.
Which NBA player did you
imitate growing up?
Honestly, I really didn’t’
imitate anyone. I never really was a fan of any team either.
I just liked the game.
Which player do you compare
yourself to now?
Now I can compare to Tayshaun
Prince, because he’s long, athletic, smart, versatile, and can guard
Alright Derrick, is there
anything else you want people to know about yourself?
Sometimes I got overlooked
because I didn’t go to the big big university but I feel like I can
play with anybody. My talent speaks for itself… and I know NBA
teams notice that.
Another thing is I’ve always
been in a winning program, so I’m not used to losing. I can
come in right away and be a contributor to a team that needs a versatile
player like me. I never had the silver spoon, you know, never
was given anything. So I’m just going to continue to work hard.