Today and tomorrow at the Attack Athletics facility on the West Side of Chicago near the United Center, the 2010 NBA Draft Combine will take place. Nearly all of the top prospects (53, to be exact) hoping to be selected in the 2010 NBA Draft, whether it’s in the first or second round, will interview with teams, participate in basketball drills, undergo athletic and medical testing, and much more. No competitive games, though. In any case, the combine will give every team in the NBA a chance to start getting a first-hand look at the prospects, given that they’ll watch the workouts and, as has been mentioned before, interview them to get to know more about a player’s personality. For two days, the prospects will also be available to the media throughout the late morning and early afternoon.
In today’s media session, I was able to speak with John Wall amongst the media, as well as talk with Dominique Jones one-on-one, James Anderson, Xavier Henry, Luke Babbitt, Jarvis Varnado one-on-one, Travis Booker one-on-one, and Solomon Alabi one-on-one.
Part II contains my questions for Varnado, Booker, Alabi, and Wall.
I know that the whole draft experience can be exciting for prospects but tense, too. How’s everything going for you?
It’s going real well. I’ve been getting good training out in Los Angeles, so it’s been going good.
What are you trying to improve on as the draft looms closer?
The offensive end of the court. I’m known as a defensive player, so I’m just trying to improve on the offensive end and knock down 15-footers.
You were well-known as a shot blocker and rebounder in college. Do you think those skills will translate for you to the NBA?
Oh yeah, there’s a lot of players in the NBA that can score but there’s quite a few that can play defense so whatever team drafts me, I’m just going to come in there and bring energy and the defensive presence that I have.
What do you think is something that’s overlooked about you that people should know more about?
I think I can knock down the 15-footer real well. I didn’t show it in college because I was doing what the coach asked me to, so I think I can shoot it real well.
What goes into blocking a shot?
Just timing, instincts … I try to be the second guy off the floor and use my long arms and be quick. My leaping ability allows me to do that.
Do you think you’ll be able to block as many shots in the NBA as you did in college?
Oh yeah. I got a lot of shots blocked off the weak-side. If one of the guards get beat, they know I got their back so I’m looking forward to that, as well as get some [blocks] from other people.
Is there a guy that you try to model your game after?
I say a Marcus Camby. He’s a great defensive player. He’s able to knock down his jumpshot.