"I watched this game when I was a little kid growing up," explained Sulaimon. "Just to be able to put my name on a list of these great players is an honor and a blessing. It was a lot of hard work to get here, and now that I am here it is a great experience."
Getting to this game would be a surprise for some who saw Sulaimon as a younger prospect. He was always the third member of the vaunted Houston Hoops backcourt behind L.J. Rose and J-Mychal Reese, but now Sulaimon is here and he says it is because of hard work.
"Growing up I was always in the back seat, but I used that as motivation," said Sulaimon. "It is a testament to my hard work and determination. I stayed in the gym a lot and now my dreams are coming true."
While Sulaimon won the three point shooting contest it might be his defense that has stood out the most and got him to this game. For Sulaimon he says shutting his man down has always been a major focus of his.
"Growing up I always took pride in my defense," Sulaimon explained. "I am very competitive. I hate it when my man scores on me. I always try to score on my man and I never want him to score on me. It is something that has motivated me all growing up and it has taken me a long way."
He will take those defensive and shot making exploits to Duke next season. Even with the departure of Austin Rivers to the NBA Draft, Sulaimon says he knows he will have to work hard to gain minutes in a crowded and talented Duke backcourt.
"Austin Rivers leaving doesn't guarantee me anything," Sulaimon noted. "They still have some great players coming back like Tyler Thornton and Seth Curry. It is still going to be a grind. I am just going there to work hard and whatever happens, happens."
With his ability to knock down shots as well as his willingness to guard, it looks like it could be hard to keep Sulaimon off the floor next year while wearing a Duke uniform.