Shawne Williams: "I'm a future All-Star"
Shawne Williams: I think it was a great workout. I had the chance to play with Shannon Brown and other good players and I think I left a very good impression there.
You've had a couple of workouts already. Were you surprised by any of the things you had to go through in them?
SW: Not really. Before the workout process started, I was practicing in an academy in which they really let you know what's going to happen and what you are going to go through. So I was not surprised by anything.
What has been the best thing about your game that you have been able to show in workouts?
SW: I was able to show that I was more athletic than they thought because in college I played more with the back to the basket and I couldn't display my athleticism all that much. I was also able to show that I could hit the NBA three, that I can shoot the ball consistently.
Some players look better than others in workouts because of the way they are run. Do you feel like you can show everything you can do in those workouts?
SW: Oh yes, sure. I think that's basically what they are for. They want to see what you can and what you can't do. They want to know every aspect of your game. And I think I showed a lot. I just need to work on my defense a little more, but I feel like I'm already a good defender. I just didn't have the experience of guarding a perimeter player, but I've guarded a lot of perimeter players this year in college... So I feel just like I need to work a little bit more on my defense. But if I keep improving and keep lifting weights, I'll be fine.
When you were deciding whether to enter the draft this year or not, who did you listen to for advice?
SW: Coach Cal. Coach Cal really helped me. He's been in the NBA, he's coached in the NBA... But I talked it over with my granddad too, because my granddad is a person that's going to let me make my decision. As for Cal, he told me it was the year for me, that I should leave. And that's what I did.
Was money a big, big issue for you in order to enter the draft this year?
SW: Money was not a big deal. When you go to school with Coach Cal, you are going to have summer jobs and you are gonna get paid a good enough amount of money to be comfortable during the year. So it was not a big problem. And my granddad and the people I have to take care of, they don't need the money because they are so old! (laughs). They don't need much more than they have now.
Several years ago, when you still had not chosen where to play in college, your high school coach said that it was better for you to leave Memphis because of the situation you were going through there...
SW: My high school coach wanted me to leave Memphis also for other reasons. But I feel like I'm a man and if I wanted to play in Memphis that what I was going to do. And I think I made the right decision. I had a great year in Memphis. The fans love me now. And I think that I developed well. My high school coach had the right to give his opinion, but I had to make the right decision for myself because I'm the one that's going to live with it.
You're not going to play in Orlando, right?
SW: No, I'm not playing there.
What's the main reason why you are not playing in the pre-draft camp there?
SW: I feel like I have 8-10 workouts and I feel like all the teams that want to see me, all the teams that are interested in me, I'm working out for them. I don't feel like there's a reason for me to go and play there and play a lot of games... And I don't want to get hurt 'cause it's a very important process right now.
Are you confident that you can be a first-round pick?
SW: Oh, yeah... I wanted to play in Orlando, but my agent wouldn't let me do it. I wasn't scared. I feel very confident that I'm going to be in the first round. I'm a great kid. Any team I play for, I'm gonna play hard... I'm gonna be a future All-Star.
You think that?
SW: Yes, I think I'm a future All-Star. It's not what nobody thinks, it's how you do it. 'Cause I'm going to work as hard as I can and be in this 4-5 year plan that if I start to be known, I think everything will fall in place.
In some scouting reports on the Internet, they say "questionable work ethic" when talking about Shawne Williams. What can you say to that?
SW: I think I'm letting it speak for itself in these workouts. Every team I have worked out for, they felt like my work ethic it's outstanding. Every team I've worked out for, they gave me great feedback.
Changing subjects... Which players were your idols growing up?
So did you model your game after anybody?
Have you stayed in touch with your Memphis teammates Rodney Carney and Darius Washington, who are also entering the draft, after the season?
SW: I have talked to Rodney. I have talked to Rodney about two times, but not recently. And I have talked with Darius' father. I heard Rodney is doing well and I heard Darius is doing well, you know.
Do you think we can have three Memphis players in the first round this year?
SW: I feel like all three should be first-round picks because I have played with them and I know what type of players they are. Darius is a great teammate. He passes the ball, he's an athletic guard, he can shoot... He's got a great shot. And what Rodney's done speaks for itself. He's the most athletic player in America to me. Him and Shannon Brown. So I think he made it (being in the first round) available for himself with his play.
Jorge Sierra is the editor of HoopsHype.com
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