HoopsHype.com Interviews

Miguel Marriaga: "I think I'm staying in the draft this year"
by Jorge Sierra / May 5, 2005

You started playing volleyball before basketball, right?

Miguel Marriaga: Yes.

Why did you make the switch to basketball?

MM: I started playing volleyball and then they told me I should play basketball too. I was playing both sports for a while, but I didn't have time for both. I really started to like basketball, so in the end I chose to play basketball only.

Who was you idol when you started playing?

MM: When I started playing, I didn't have any knowledge about basketball. I didn't have an idol. Then, probably Tim Duncan.

Are you pleased with the way things are going for you in Venezuela this season?

MM: Maybe not pleased, but I think I'm doing well. I'm doing all the things I can do and they ask me to do. Thank God, I'll keep doing well.

How do you handle all the expectations about you and your possible future in the NBA?

MM: I take it easy. I'm just doing all the things I need to do and hopefully I will attract the attention of the NBA. I just leave the rest in the hands of God.

Do you get tired of being asked about the NBA all the time?

MM: Yes, a little bit. They ask me about this many times. But what can you do?

When did you start thinking about the possibility of playing in the NBA?

MM: Last year. I got a lot of opportunities to play with my team, stay on the floor and show what I could do. And then I went to the United States and worked out for some teams. It was a great experience, I think.

So things went well for you there.

MM: Yes, yes.

Do you plan on working out for NBA teams again this year?

MM: Yes, I'm going later this month. I'm doing all the things I need to do to get my visa and then I'll go. Many teams have watched me play already, though. A lot of teams have come to see me and left with a good impression. I didn't talk with them much, because they are not allowed to do that, but I think they left with a good opinion about me.

Is there any chance that you remove your name from the draft like you did last year?

MM: I don't think I'll do that again. I think I'm staying in the draft this year.

Is there any team that you feel is especially interested in you?

MM: Well... Last year, Denver, Seattle, Miami and New Jersey were all interested... This year, Seattle came to see me play again. Portland came to watch me play too. Several teams.

If you are selected in the draft this year, would you like to go to the NBA right away or would you rather play another season in Venezuela or Europe?

MM: If I'm selected in the draft, I would do that. I would rather go to the NBA next year if they want me there.

For those who haven't seen you play... How would you describe yourself as a player?

MM: Hmmm... I would describe myself as a power forward. Great shot blocker. Good rebounder. And I can also score.

Jorge Sierra is the editor of HoopsHype.com

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