Introducing the 2005 Class: Sylvester Seay

To say that someone has potential, would be viewed as a nice tribute in the everyday world. In the sports realm, this perceived compliment is usually a polite way to indicate that a player is an underachiever. Unfairly or not, this label has been attached to Sylvester Seay throughout his prep career. However, ASU's incoming freshman is determined to let his play on the hardwood shed that mark, as well as disprove the gloom predictions that have been put on the Sun Devils this season.

"Coaches tell me that I can be a good player if I do this and that, and I find myself listening to them more and more," said the 6-9 205 Sylvester Seay. "They don't leave me alone so I don't have a choice but to listen to them. Coach Evans calls me his project – I don't know if it's good or bad. But I feel the pressure and that's fine. I just have to work harder in everything. I have to give 110% everyday. When the coaches tell me ‘go harder', I'm thinking that I want to say to them ‘I'm going as hard as I can.' But I don't say anything and just keep on going harder."

Even though Seay realizes that he has to step his efforts more than ever, this wasn't a mindset that was easily achieved at first. "When I got here and I was doing conditioning the first month, I was thinking ‘maybe this isn't for me," he recalled. "Maybe I should go overseas and play there.' But that's shooting lower than I should. I was asking my friends that are already in college ‘how come you didn't tell me it was gonna be this hard? And they said we were trying to but you didn't want to listen (laughs).' But those guys always told me to keep my head up, and I am. I'm gonna surprise a lot of people who thought I was gonna be hot-head Sylvester, talking back and yelling. But I'm not saying anything."

When it comes to his journey from high school to college, it wouldn't be a exaggeration to say that the Sun Devil freshman has been to hell and back. "I went to high school for six years," Seay remarked. "I was a freshman year at San Bernardino (his hometown), I went to two prep schools in California, messing up my freshman and sophomore year. I did better my junior and senior year, but the damage was done and so I had to go another year of prep school in Massachusetts."

While this is a trek that he wouldn't wish on his enemies, Seay can draw some positives from that whole experience. "Mentally, I really matured," he commented. "If something bad would happen at school, people would ask ‘where's Sylvester at?' and I would tell them ‘I had nothing to do with that (laughs).' It was a good experience, because when you mature you get to see how much more you can do with your life. I'm not looking back anymore, just forward."

"The whole experience made me a better basketball player too," he continued. "Last year, I was working more on being a wing player at shooting guard, where other years I was in and out of positions all the time. I also gained some weight." Seay also played football as late as two years ago as a wide receiver. "I ran a 4.49 then, and now I'm in the best shape of my life right now. There's no telling how fast I am now."

Seay's versatility is clearly one of his biggest assets, as well as his spectacular athleticism, which his coaches compare to former ASU star Tommy Smith. "They got me running back and forth all the time," he quipped. "I'll be the first one on offense and the first one on defense (smile). I can shoot, and I've been known just to sit out and shoot 3's all the time. So my main goal is to work 15 feet and in. If I can do that my scoring will come to me naturally just because of my ability to run the floor. I just want to get to the basket all the time, and get lay-ups or get fouled. I'm working on my ball handling and strength on my own, and that's my dedication to getting better everyday."

The new addition to the Arizona State basketball team surely knows the meaning of dedication, as it was demonstrated by Head Coach Rob Evans and his staff. The Sun Devil coaches were virtually the first coaches to recruit Seay very early in his high school career. "I went through a lot of trouble getting here this summer and they stuck with me the whole time." he remarked. "Other schools came and went, but Coach Evans was calling me all the time."

In turn, not only did Seay repay them with his commitment, but also immersed himself with the fortunes of the team before even playing one game in the maroon and gold uniform. "I saw myself as part of the family since I committed to them last year," he said. "When they lost that game to Arizona my heart was broken just like anybody else on the team. Those guys that left the program, I lost a lot of respect for them to just get up and leave. Everybody knows the situation we're going into this year. I've been a guy that has been proving people wrong for a long time, and this is another opportunity to prove people wrong about this program. Me and ASU – we were made for each other. I got my own personal goals, but without the team I can't achieve them."

Seay is a rare 20-year old freshman, and isn't shy of reminding his veteran teammates of that. "Those guys may be on the team longer than I have, but I've been in high school for six years," he said. "I'm as old as all those guys, so you guys have to listen to me just like I have to listen to you (smile). But as long as we're on the same page it's all good. All of us that are new to the program are gonna find out how hard it will be. All those games we lost by a couple of points – we have to work hard and fight through them this season."

"School is hard and basketball is harder," Seay continued. "Harder than I thought it was gonna be. Coach is telling us that we gotta win this season, and I say ‘OK we gotta win'. And then he'll say ‘you don't understand we gotta win'. I'm giving 110% and coach is telling me it isn't enough. But that's what I have to do - to prove a bunch of people wrong. There's a whole bunch of people that didn't think I was gonna make it, and don't think I get it done. I'm gonna prove them wrong."

Recruit Profile


Sylvester Seay

High School

Winchendon Prep School (Mass.)







Date of birth



San Bernardino, Calif.



Favorite TV show


Favorite movie

"Harlem Nights"

Favorite singer/band

"The Old School Snoop Dog"

Favorite food


Favorite drink

"Strawberry Lemonade"

Favorite athlete

"My uncle Mark Seay. He played Wide receiver for the 49ers and the Chargers."

Favorite pro team

"Boston Bruins"

Person you most admire

"Mark Seay. He sets his goals high and achieves them. That's the kind of person I want to be."

First basketball memory

"Trying out for the team at middle school with Richard Roby (who plays at Colorado). The whole season we hated each other, but at the end we were tight."

One thing most people don't know about me

"I used to be a party guy, but I simmered down so much now ever since I got here."

Why did you choose ASU?

"I love Coach Evans. Him and I have known each other for a while, and he stayed on me through everything."

Where do you want to be in ten years?

"Retired and helping the people mow my lawn in the front yard, because I have nothing else to do (smile)."

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