HoopsHype.com Interviews

Coby Karl: "I can enjoy every day of life even more than before"
by Marc Narducci / June 23, 2007


Everybody is always asking you this simple question, how are your feeling?

Coby Karl: Everything is positive. I don’t know for sure because it’s been a tentative thing and it’s only been about a couple months since my surgery so once I get done with the workouts, I will talk to my doctors. Everything is great. They got a lot of lymph nodes out of my neck. That was my plan, to get it physically out of my body rather than to keep dealing with it.

How was the cancer originally detected?

CK: It’s thyroid cancer and I found a lump on my throat and told the trainer who told doctor and I got a biopsy. They took the thyroid out and a year later took out lymph nodes on the left side of my neck. When I found out about this, it was scary, but when I learned more of the information that 95 percent of the people who get it, live their whole life. I was very happy to hear it.

After dealing with cancer, does it make you appreciate things that much more?

CK: Yes, definitely. When you hear cancer you immediately think my life could end soon and obviously in my situation it’s a case where it is treatable and curable. I can enjoy every day of life even more than before. I was able to go back and spend another year with my college teammates and enjoy basketball there and now do this trip.

How many pre-draft workouts have you had?

CK: This (Friday) was my eighth and I have three more. It’s a drain.

Did you work out with Denver?

CK: I canceled Denver workouts. They don’t have a pick so I told my dad I’m not coming (laughing). No, if any team knows me better than anybody else it’s Denver for obvious reason. I was able to go to different teams and hopefully get exposure.

During your pre-draft workouts have you talked to your father frequently?

CK: I talk to him usually every day, maybe twice a day, depending on what I’m doing or how busy I am. He has been my coach or agent my whole life. I let him know what is going on and see what they are doing in Denver. See if he has talked to anyone and what the buzz is.

What is you father’s advice as you go on these workouts?

CK: He just wants me to do the right thing. He always preached to play the right way and do it the right way. He wants me to go out and play hard and whatever happens, happens. If I get drafted, I get drafted and if not, free agency will be an interesting thing, especially considering that he’ll be in the mix.

What have you found out about yourself in going through these workouts?

CK: Travel delays are annoying. No, I really enjoy the journey more than anything. Getting up every morning working out, going to a different city, different airport, different hotel. I have enjoyed it. It is a journey and you learn a lot about yourself individually and learn to live by yourself. Mentally, going through my cancer situation it’s been tough because I have had to bounce back in a small amount of time. I think I have shown some resilience and have shown that basketball isn’t my whole life. So this is something I can enjoy and have fun with.

You played very well at the Orlando pre-draft camp. Did that you give a boost of confidence?

CK: I think everything is relative. I think it’s one page in the resume. I played well in the NABC All-Star game, I played well in Orlando and some of these workouts, but when it comes down to is that the team either likes you or not and you have to keep moving on.

Do you see yourself as a combo guard in the NBA?

CK: I see myself whatever the team wants me to be. Honestly, I feel I can play different positions. If a team feels that way, then I will attempt to do whatever they want

What was your outlook in preparing for the draft after your recent surgery?

CK: I had to get in the best shape I’ve been in and that is where I am now, probably the best shape I’ve been in my whole life. I’m working as hard as I can because I know it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s one small thing in a career but it is a starting point.

Do you think NBA teams want to see how players going through these pre-draft workouts adjust by going form city to city?

CK: That is small part of it. One thing I pride myself on is the way I prepare for things and deal with situations. I have been around it enough to know what will happen. Some players are surprised by the travel and tediousness of getting up and getting on a plane. That is what’s going to happen in the NBA. You will have back-to-backs in cities and it will be a tough grind. We’ll have to do it sooner or later.

Marc Narducci covers the NBA for the Philadelphia Inquirer and is a regular contributor to HoopsHype.com

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