On Wednesday, I got a chance to interview Hassan Whiteside following a workout in San Francisco. Whiteside is a very shy kid but shows an enthusiasm for the game that is not apparent in every bigman.
NBADraft.net: You’ve been working out with Hakeem Olajuwon, what kind of things has he been working on with you?
Hassan Whiteside: Defensively, foot work. Helping with my back to the basket. Really playing lower and stronger.
NBADraft.net: How much time have you spent with him?
Hassan Whiteside: For about a week. Doing one on one in Houston.
NBADraft.net: What made you decide to enter the draft this year?
Hassan Whiteside: My family, financially and the fact that my coaches left the school.
NBADraft.net: What was it like playing in Huntington, West Virginia (at Marshall)?
Hassan Whiteside: It was cold. it was a real quiet place. Not that many people. But they really support their basketball. I don’t really party, so there wasn’t a whole lot to do there.
NBADraft.net: Did a potential lockout factor into your decision to turn pro?
Hassan Whiteside: Probably like 10%.
NBADraft.net: You went to Chicago recently for the combine, with the main idea being for the interviews. Talk a little bit about that process.
Hassan Whiteside: It was really fun. A lot of the GMs and scouts have great personalities, so it was a lot of fun talking to them. It was a lot of interviews, like 8 or 9 in one day.
NBADraft.net: What kind of questions did they ask?
Hassan Whiteside: Just like stuff about my family. And about gaining weight. Stuff like that.
NBADraft.net: You got 12 reps on the bench press at 185 lbs. Did that surprise you or did you know you could do that?
Hassan Whiteside: I knew I could do that. I’m stronger than I look.
NBADraft.net: How do the workouts with Frank (Matrisciano) compare to workouts you have done before?
Hassan Whiteside: They’re a lot harder. He does a lot more outside stuff, working with weight bags. it’s hard work.
NBADraft.net: Talk a little bit about Daniel Orton.
Hassan Whiteside: He’s really physical. Uses his weight well. He can block shots.
NBADraft.net: Who do you compare yourself to? And what do you make of our Marcus Camby comparison for you?
Hassan Whiteside: Oh man! I don’t think I play anything like Marcus Camby. I’d compare myself more to a shot blocking KG.
NBADraft.net: Best of luck to you in upcoming draft!