What have you been doing to get ready for the draft?
Quincy Pondexter: I’ve been really trying to work out and get in the best shape possible going to this whole draft thing. I’m just really focused on jockeying for position and getting as high as possible in the draft.
How would you define your state of mind right now leading up to the draft process?
QP: It’s a mix of a whole bunch of different emotions… From being nervous because it’s actually the first time in a while that I haven’t been on a team to being excited because I’m ready to go out there and take part in these workouts and going against really tough competition… It’s a whole bunch of different emotions, but I’m loving every moment of it.
When do you begin the workouts?
QP: I think we might start some next week, but there’s nothing really set in stone yet. We’re getting there.
Are you looking forward to going against any player in particular during those workouts?
QP: Not any player in particular. Everybody is talented and you’re going to go against everybody. You are going against great competition and there’s always going to be that player that you didn’t expect that’s going to play great basketball.
How do you go about choosing an agent?
QP: I made that type of decision based solely on which agent I felt most comfortable with. Bob Myers, Greg Lawrence and Arn Tellem of the Wasserman Group are the guys I felt the most comfortable with. I knew they could do the best job for me.
How many contacted you before you made a decision?
QP: Too many to name. There’s a bunch of agents that contacted me and my family. But we’re really satisfied with the decision I made.
Did they keep calling ever after you’ve officially chosen one?
QP: After they found out, the phone calls stopped. We’re back to business as usual.
You get compared to Mickeal Pietrus and Gerald Wallace. Are those comparisons accurate, in your opinion?
QP: They are accurate. I can myself playing like those guys. Those guys play at a very high level and they bring so much to the game. I love the game of basketball and always have since I was a kid. I just want to go out and help in any way possible. That’s what made my game the way it is. Like them, I want to bring a lot of things on the court.
Your father and uncle played pro basketball. What kind of advice do you get from them?
QP: I learned from the mistakes that they made. I mean that in a good way. They had decent careers and they just want me to have a better one because we all care about the game of basketball. We all love the game of basketball. We know how basketball can bring a family together and do so many things for you. They really stayed by my side along the way and I loved them for helping me out and making things so much easier for myself.
Is their advice the reason why you stayed four years in college?
QP: Definitely, definitely. I think wisely they adviced me to stay in school and stick with it. There was no reason for me to rush and try the next level without being fully prepared. My family, we’re not afraid of challenges. That’s something that my dad and my family always taught me. They really helped me to stick with it and fight. I’ve been a fighter all my life and tried to prove people that I’m a good basketball player. And they always stayed by my side through everything.
What do you think about the rule that doesn’t allow players to go from high school to the NBA?
QP: I think it’s fair. You can’t just have a great high school career and leave. You have to become a man! This is a great business and a lot of people want to become part of the business. You have to at least stay school a couple of years and prove that you’re a great player. You have to do it. It’s not hard.
I read on a New York Times article that when you were not selected for the McDonald’s All-American Game, you didn’t eat at McDonald’s for three years afterwards. Is that true?
QP: (Laughs) That’s definitely correct. I hold grudges. I’ve been a kid that has always been kind of underrated, underestimated… I think the fact that I didn’t get picked for the McDonald’s was more motivation during my college career. I used that as an stepping stone to being a great basketball player, because people were not respecting my game. I really wanted to come out and prove to a lot of people that I’m a good basketball player and should have been worthy of being at the McDonald’s All-American Game in high school.
Do you think you’re still underrated at this point?
QP: (Laughs) You know what? I think so, I think so. With the way things worked out in college, with my improvement, the way I play and how I play, how hard I play and how much I love the game. You know, I don’t think there’s many players that love the game as much as I do. So I can say I’ve felt underrated by guys, but I’ve improved over time to prove that I’m that good.
Do you see yourself as a lock for the first round of the draft?
QP: We don’t know yet. I hope so. I wish that was the case, but I have to go through these workouts and convince myself and others that I should be a first-round lock.
You got your college degree, right?
How did that feel?
QP: It was just terrific. To have something accomplished like getting a college degree is something that many people in this job just can’t say. If the draft was based on people that got a college degree this year, I think I would be tied for No. 1 pick. That’s not the case, but I’m just really happy that I finished school early, I finished in good standing and I love the University of Washington.