One on one with Chris Carrawell

From recruit to rotational player to ACC Player of the Year, former Blue Devil Chris Carrawell had a decorated playing career for Coach K. Since graduating in 2000, Carrawell has continued his career in the game by being a trainer and now an assistant coach at Marquette with Steve Wojciechowski. We spoke with C-Well about his journey as we continue our alumni series of interviews.

First thing to ask Chris is related to one of the first interviews we did for this series with Gerald Henderson. He mentioned how you’ve worked with him and how much that helped him as a player. From your perspective can you share what it’s meant to you to work with him and when that process was started?

Chris Carrawell: He’s like a little brother to me and I started working with him for the NBA Draft back in 2009. From then we got really close and of course being a Duke guy but also through his hard work really. He’s one of the most dedicated guys I’ve been around and I had the chance with his draft to work him out for the Draft and go through the entire process with him with workouts. It was good and then from there, every summer I’ve worked him out every summer except for the last two with being in Milwaukee but more than basketball—we are likely family. He’s a great guy, good role model, hard worker, really smart and all around just an awesome guy.

What kind of things did you do with him and what kind of approach do you take when working out a player?

Yeah with him, he’s such a great athlete. I think a few things I worked with him on was his handle and becoming more comfortable with the ball because in high school, Gerald was a center and now he’s an NBA 2-guard. He’s an awesome golfer as well so golf guys, they understand mechanics and basketball is a game of feel so we worked a lot on his handle and different moves off the bounce so he could become more fluid. Also we worked with was extending his range. He has great range but like I said he was a center in high school so he consciously has to over the course of his career work on handling the ball and also his range. We do a lot of shooting because the NBA 3-point line with a lot of those guys coming into the league is tough. I know with guys like Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are natural born shooters but for guys who have been athletic wings or who have been used to playing with their back to the basket, that NBA 3-point line is a tough shot initially. He’s done a good job at extending his range and he can do even better. If he adds a consistent 3-point shot he could be a borderline All Star because he’s that talented. He’s got a great mid-range game and you can post him so always with him it was ball-handling and just shots, catch and shoot, coming off screens, just extending his range. He was a joy to work with man.

What are your thoughts on seeing him heading out to Portland now and joining another former Duke player, Mason Plumlee?

Yeah I think it’s great for him. A change was needed, I think he maximized his potential in Charlotte. For him to play in Portland, they have a great organization, great fanbase and Coach Stotts is a great coach, so he’ll have a great opportunity to play for a great coach and in a system that now, with Lamarcus Aldridge moving on, I think they will play a different and more uptempo system and it’s going to be exciting.

I think he needed that, he started with Charlotte and he did some good things there, but a change of scenery, it’s not bad. He was pretty excited when I talked to him about the trade and he’s really looking forward to it. Sometimes trades can be tough, but to be able to go to Rip City, go to Portland with a basketball organization in a great basketball state, I think a change will be really good.

  You obviously have a mind for player and skill development, what was the genesis of that?

I just thought that for me as a player, I played for four years at Duke and I got better each year. The reason why I got better was because of coaches like Quin Snyder and Johnny Dawkins and David Henderson, those guys worked with me. The reason why I was Player of the Year in the ACC was because I worked with those guys and I improved each year with my skills. I always felt like that was a really underrated part of basketball for a player. Players you can put them in a system and whatever—but you have to be able to improve your weaknesses and I did that.

So for me I would say that you can put them in anything system wise, but they have to be able to shoot, handle and pass and they have to get better at it. For my own playing experience I knew how important it was and I knew for these guys how important it was to always be in tip top condition and shape and you always got better in the summertime. For me that was a passion that I had from my own playing experience and the first guy that I actually worked out was J.J. Redick. I had just finished playing overseas and he called me and he said, “I’m coming back to Duke for about two months and I need you to work me out” and I remember being like “Ohh..k, this is JJ Redick, I gotta be ready.” I knew him a bit from workouts before but I knew this was different because this was my first time actually working out with an NBA guy, he had been in the League for two years. When you are working out NBA guys, you have to know your stuff because they want to know why, why am I doing this drill, they are going to ask you. It’s the same thing with Gerald and other guys, you gotta be able to explain to them why and you just can’t make stuff up and expect them to do it because they are pros. They’ll do it but it’s gotta be well thought out. I started working out JJ and he had an unbelievable summer. People don’t remember, but for JJ those first two years in the League, nobody  knew if he would pan out like he has now, but back then it wasn’t like that. I’m not taking credit for the summer that we worked out, but that summer changed his career and it was more so because of his mindset with his workout. He’d hit 24 out of 25 NBA 3s every time we worked out and with his mid-range which was a college three, he would never miss, it was so easy to work with him. With him though we worked on everything. Pick and roll situations, coming off screens, I wanted him to be able to work on everything because I thought he could and was underrated in those areas. Now he’s really good at all those things and making plays for others.

So from working with him—I told myself that this is what I want to do because I felt like, seeing him improve and he was a pro guy and even though he was one of the best all time college basketball players, he improved on his own right in the pros and to be able to help him, I told myself this is what I want to do. So I did that with Gerald and Kyrie and Kyle Singler and Nolan and those guys, it’s something I have a passion for. X’s and O’s that’s what I have to work on, but seeing guys improve—I love it.

In working out with those guys, was there a common theme with each of their approaches?

Those guys are great competitors. If they didn’t do a drill right, if they did a shooting drill and they didn’t shoot the ball well, they would want to start over and do it again. They were true professionals. So everything with them was game speed. I never had to talk to JJ about “Come on man, you aren’t working hard enough”. So that right there that was special because sometimes with guys when you work them out, they go through the motions and especially pro guys, they play 82 games and practices and travel, you might play a 100 games in the season sometimes. With them, those guys just worked man. They were early, on time and however long they are there for, they were always going to work really hard and for those guys, you kinda switch it up. Just working them out each day and just killing them, that’s not smart for their bodies. So I’d see if a guy was moving a little slower, I would tailor the workout in a different way, do stuff in the post, different catches so there’s not as much grinding and pounding on days like that. It’s a total process so to speak in working those guys out. The first thing that I would say about all those guys I mentioned is they are ALWAYS professional, they are true professionals to the 9th degree. They get in there and get their work done. They lift, they run, they take it seriously and there’s a reason why they are making 7, 8, 9 million dollars a year. They would call me and say I want to go twice today and then one time tomorrow and then two times the next day and they were the guys who said I want to go twice today and I loved doing it because you always loved being in the gym.

You’ve been speaking about the commitment these players have to developing their craft in these workouts but I’m curious, who do you look to to help you develop your craft as a workout guy and coach?

I’ve always looked at NBA guys who are so far ahead of college because they are just so far ahead with what they do. So guys for me were like Doug Overton who used to be with the Brooklyn Nets, he was really good and I saw that he had some good stuff. Then Coach Farr who used to be an assistant under Brian Shaw at the Denver Nuggets. He’s no longer there but he got a lot of guys ready for the draft and he’s the best in the business. That’s who I learned from, I was in the gym when he worked out DeMarcus Nelson and he’s unbelievable. His workouts, his intensity, the way he puts workouts together with defensive slides, jump shots, medicine balls, whatever he puts together always makes sense and he always has a different way to do a drill. So I learned a lot from him, those two guys and there’s so many guys out there but I’m an old school guy and that means I don’t do a lot of tricks. The best workouts are ones that go game speed and you go hard for 50 minutes or an hour. So those two guys, I really thought they were really good at what they do and another guy, Rob McClanahan, him and Coach Overton and Coach Farr are the three best that I’ve seen with working out guys. Those guys are the ones I look up to. The way they teach it, they are creative with the workouts and it just makes sense. They don’t do a lot of stuff that doesn’t make sense. Those three guys are top notch in my opinion.

Now you aren’t just developing talent but you also handle all the other aspects of being an assistant coach under Coach Wojo, what’s that experience been like for you since you came on board at Marquette?

Oh man it’s been awesome, the best thing for me is just working with Wojo, a guy a really admire. I played with him for two years and now to have the opportunity to work with him, that’s really cool for me to be at a great school with a great tradition. To be honest with you, to be at a great school like Marquette with all the great people here, we really have a chance here to get this thing going back again. To be a part of it with all these guys who were a part of the program before who are here, Tyler Thornton who is a graduate assistant, it’s just like, we can do do some special things here and I couldn’t have landed at a better place.

How did the opportunity arise for you to join the staff at Marquette?

I started off as a grad assistant at Duke with Wojo on staff. Then I was able to work with the Brooklyn Nets for 3 years and then from that, I always had a home in North Carolina, so I would always have a lot of workouts at Duke and I just always stayed around the gym because I loved the game and I would watch some type of basketball every day whether it’d be college or old school ESPN Classic’s and I would build relationships with Wojo and others and just through them seeing me work, he just thought I’d be a good fit. That’s how you know a guy real well because when he got the job, a million people contacted him to be his assistant but he chose me and I’m very appreciative of that.

It was really straight forward actually, he texted me and he was like, “are you coming with me ?” He of course had done his background work, but he he heard from a ton of people and that’s who he is, he asked a million people about me but he was just doing his work. He did his background work, everything checked out and when it came down to actually offering me, it was through a text where he asked, “are you coming with me.” Wojo’s a guy that you would follow anywhere and it really could have been anywhere and I would have come with him because that’s how much I believe in him. Really it was hard but it wasn’t like he was bringing me into his office and asking me a bunch of questions, it was just really straight forward.

What’s it like coaching alongside him of now as opposed to your previous experiences of being a former teammate and a grad assistant with him?

We’ve definitely gotten closer for sure because we’ve gone through the struggles together at Duke and here, it’s not a machine yet. You learn a lot and you know who a guy really is because you’ve known him for almost 20 years and to see him in this element with a different position as the head coach is great. We weren’t that good last year but to see his passion, his love for the game in good times and bad, I mean like I said, we were not good last year but he was still the same and through that, my respect and my admiration for him is even bigger because we’re here in the struggle together. We’ve grown closer just by being here and so, he’s the best guy in the country. He’s going to be one of the best guys in the end to do it and even though he’s young in it, some guys are just born to do certain things. Coach K was born to be a great coach, he was born to be a great leader. There’s a million coaches out there but there’s only one Coach K and when it’s all said done, I think Wojo has a chance to be an unbelievable coach and to be a part of that, I’m excited and I want to do my part to make that happen. 

Your recruiting class this year at Marquette drew national attention for the talent you are bringing in—what was that like for you being on the “ground floor” so to speak of bringing those guys into the program?

Yeah it was exciting, really exciting because that doesn’t happen often. When you first come in it usually takes awhile. We got a great staff and it all starts and ends with Coach Wojo but we’ve also got some other great guys like Brett Nelson, Stan Johnson coming in and those guys that have been here are all really good and our support staff is great too. When we get guys on campus, we’ve got a staff that you want to be around. We’ve got an entire staff that you want to be around who know the game, who love the game and I think this group of recruits saw that and they thought they could build something special here with this staff that we have. We have 8 guys on this staff who played Division 1 basketball, so we can relate to these kids, we’ve walked in their shoes and I just felt like there’s a comfort level there because kids have to feel a comfort level with other things and with you and I think they do, which I think is why we were able to build such a great class.

Have the adjustment to being a full time college assistant coach been a big change for you coming from the pro ranks?

Yeah it’s been, I don’t want to say it’s been that easy because it is different at this level. You have to worry about academics, you gotta make sure guys are getting there on time, make sure that guys are good with their conditioning. There’s so many other issues in college that you have  to worry about. In the pros, it’s practice at 11, if you are late, we’re going to fine you. You don’t have to deal with parents or AAU coaches, it’s just pretty straight-forward. In college, it’s a 24/7 job and for me, I came in, Wojo and I were the first ones here, you put the time in which I don’t mind, that’s not a problem. This is a job that you are always, and I mean always working whether you are texting, recruiting, there’s always something going on in college and it keeps you on your toes. So for me it was not easy when you have kids transferring, kids coming in, you gotta be ready for it and it’s not easy but I wouldn’t change it for the world because it’s not supposed to be easy. It hasn’t been easy but I love it and at the end of the grind, hopefully you have a team that makes the Tournament or compete for a National Championship and it makes it all worthwhile.

You just mentioned competing for a National Championship which you obviously had the opportunity to do as a player at Duke. What do you remember about the path to Duke and why you chose to go there?

Yeah man for me, a lot of people don’t remember, but it was post-Grant Hill. I came in 96 so Grant Hill had been graduated for two years so for me, after those two years they were not that good, they were mediocre so I saw a chance really to play. I thought I could come in and play and be a part of the turn-around so to speak. I came in with a talented class with Nate James and Mike Chappell and then Roshown McLeod transferred in and Trajan Langdon was coming off a medical redshirt that year so change was happening quick. For me, we were so talented, I ended up playing like power forward and that’s how I ended up carving out my niche because I could play down low and could guard which bigger guys which that was the way to get on the court. I’m playing against guys like Antawn Jamison, Tim Duncan, Keith Booth, Norman Nolan all in the ACC, so you are like, whoa, this is crazy. So when I got that opportunity to go to Duke, I just couldn’t pass that up, I didn’t not want to not regret going to Duke, I told myself man, I got Duke and it was exciting. 

To be honest, I have to give Howard Garfinkel all the credit in the world because he was the owner of Five Star Basketball Camp in Pennsylvania. He was the Godfather, he’s the Godfather and I made the All Star Game second week of the Group and going into my junior year and at that camp that year it was Vince Carter, Stephon Marbury, Tim Thomas, it was the best of the best, it was a talented crew and I ended up in the All Star Game and was the MVP of the game. So from that point on and there were like 300 college coaches in the building and with Garf, his word, it was powerful and so at that time, it was 92 or so and him and I had an unbelievable relationship. I was at camp every summer and we were really close and so, he was in Coach K’s ear so to speak and he was telling him that you need to take a hard look at this guy. He was the one that stayed in Coach K’s ear, he was the one that so to speak kinda got me over that hump because before that, Duke was not recruiting me. So going to the Five Star Camp and to the Nike All American Camp, you are just one guy coming from the St Louis area, so if you are not coming from New York or you aren’t coming from Chicago, back then, i’m coming from St Louis, Missouri, so in order to receive things in this life, you have to have people who believe in you and he was the guy, the one guy amongst others who believed that not only, he believed that I could play at Duke, he didn’t think I would be ACC Player of the Year and neither did I haha, but he was the one guy who pushed me and I have to give him the credit because he was the guy.

So once Duke was a meaningful and real opportunity for you, what was it about that school and program that led you to want to commit?

It was Coach K, I took my visit in October 1995 and it was 75 degrees, so the weather didn’t hurt. It was the opportunity to play for Coach K who at that time had already won two National Championships and had been to six or seven Final Four’s, so I knew I had a chance to be a part of something special and you knew that he was already special, I just knew there was something special about him and of course I was right. You just knew from his presence, the way he thought basketball. Coach K is a great thinker man, he’s a great thinker and he’s a great leader. So I knew for me, I knew I had to have a guy like that in my life because coming from a single parent household, I’m the oldest of 4 kids. My mom was everything but I knew I would have to have a guy for my transition who would be like a father figure for me, a disciplinarian and who could teach me about the rest of my life. My mom had gotten me to a certain point but I knew I needed a guy that could help transition me from a young man into being a fully grown man, I needed a guy who could help me do that and he was the guy. His impact was much more  than just basketball for a lot of players and for me, it was even more impactful because I didn’t have that father figure.

Once you got on campus—how did the relationship and mentorship from Coach K progress from freshman year?

At first it was really tough because I’m overwhelmed. I’m a freshman, and I’m at Duke…it’s a beautiful campus, it’s a great academic institution and you are playing for a Hall of Fame coach, so there’s a lot of pressure there. So I had to earn my keep and it wasn’t easy because he’s tough and the reason why I was able to be successful at Duke was because I was smart and tough. That resonated with him. I was a guy that he could always depend on, he could always trust me whether it was to make the key play, or to guard the toughest offensive guy on the other team, whatever it was I was always in the middle of that. He always had a respect for me and I wasn’t like Grant Hill or Shane Battier or Elton Brand or stuff like that, for me, there’s no other player who came in with a lower rep who accomplished more than I did. 

What did it mean to you finish your career having earned the ACC Player of the Year recognition?

It means a lot because that’s your legacy. You always want to in life…you want to always hope you make an impact. For me, coming from St Louis, you could never have imagined me going to a place like Duke and having an impact like that. It was more than a basketball impact, my senior year when I left, I received the Duke Ambassador Award because I threw myself into campus and the people at Duke. The people at Duke were some of my favorite people, especially the workers there. Whether it was the Chick-Fil-A people, the custodians, the people who did the grunt work to make Duke a great place, those people were my favorite people on campus and just being around the greatness of Duke, I just threw myself into everything. The people, it didn’t matter if they were black or white or whatever, it didn’t matter, I just threw myself into all of them. It was the best four years of my life but for me, it was taking a kid from the inner city of St Louis, it was like crazy, you are either going to sink or swim and I was able to swim which I’m proud of that because it wasn’t easy. Through the grace of God and my mom, I was able to, when you got to Duke, for some reason you always kinda in the eye so to speak because of the greatness of Coach K. Winning the National Championship, we all win the National Championship so to speak, so it was something really special to be a part of. I thank God for that because not a lot of kids get that opportunity. 

Sean Dockery shared some similar thoughts on his experience at Duke, including how he would do whatever it took defensively to earn time on the floor. You mentioned earlier playing guys like Tim Duncan and other notable ACC players, can you remember what it really took for you as a player to take on that challenge night after night?

I think the most important thing whether you were playing a guy like Tim Duncan or Antawn or Ed Cota, Greg Buckner, or Matt Harpring you can’t be scared. That’s the one thing I was never scared because those guys are really good and if they scored on you, I mean, they scored on everybody. That’s what they do, but if I was able to fight them and make them take a tough shot by watching tape and just fighting them really, I think it helped me by being tough. You gotta always think next play because they are good, they are supposed to score, they are supposed to dominate, so if you can cause them to be less dominant, you would be ok and so for me, that was the key. I always fought those guys and we had great help team defense too, you weren’t out there on an island by yourself. 

Speaking of that, the level of talent you played with got better and better every year you were there with some of the arguably best teams Duke may have ever had. What was the relationship process like for you with guys your four years as the talent increased?

Grant Hill said that the most talent that Duke has ever had was the times that I went to school. From 1996-2000 we probably had the most talent to probably ever come through with all the McDonald’s All Americans, NBA players, big time college stars, and number one recruiting classes. The time that I was there it was incredible. It was like no other time in Duke’s history. I ended up having a great career but I didn’t play as many of the minutes as some of the other guys played. Like you take a look at a Jon Scheyer or Kyle Singler, those guys, DeMarcus Nelson, those guys came in with the opportunity to play a ton of minutes early, which I didn’t have that opportunity. I was always splitting the time, I mean, I averaged the most minutes my senior year, but it took four years. The highest minutes per game before that was my junior year and I only averaged 24 minutes a game. It was tough, you are battling against Nate James and Corey Maggette, Trajan Langdon, it was tough. 

How did you deal with that reality knowing that many guys of a certain caliber may have transferred out and chased more minutes at another program?

Look, you know what my motto was and still is? “The ball don’t lie”, the ball is eventually going to tell the story. So if you are working hard, and if you are putting the time in and you are fighting and you believe in everything that your coach is telling you and you are doing everything for your teammates, you are going to make it at Duke. It was never like a quick process for me, I always knew I would play four years and I always knew I was going to play.

With all the guys that were coming in, at the end of the day, I knew the ball wasn’t going to lie and it would tell the story. Not Coach K, not Shane Battier, the ball would, so I believed in myself, but man you had to work, and I had to work at it. But I was probably never slated to start until probably my senior year, but at the end of the day the ball is going to tell the story. I think a lot of guys, they want the quickest fix, they want to ask why is it not working out for me, I could have easily myself gone somewhere else and been the man immediately, but I just thought that I made a decision, I chose Duke and I was going to stay with it till the end and it worked out. It doesn’t always work out for guys but everybody has their own story. For me it was important to work it through, stick with it and work my tail off. If I worked hard, I wanted to play and I wouldn’t say I was the hardest worker, but I did work and it worked out for me.

Speaking of that leadership and work ethic—many probably remember going into your senior year the meeting you and Shane Battier and Nate James went to have with Coach K after some of your teammates went pro early. Since you were there, what do you remember about that meeting?

It was just, it was a difficult time because we had just lost the National Championship, so now we were losing Trajan, Will, Corey, Elton, Taymon, and Chris Burgess. We lost a bunch of guys from the rotation, there was a lot going on and Coach had just had hip replacement surgery, so I was the guy who said look, let’s go see him and talk him, let’s see how he’s doing because he would have done the same for us. I told Nate and Shane and we went over and when he saw us, he was excited. He was laying back but when he saw us come in the room, he perked up a bit and that was the start of a great year for us.

A lot of people thought we were not going to be good and understandably so. You lose a superstar in the making Corey Maggette, three superstars in Will, Trajan and Elton Brand and then you bring back three guys who were really role guys. I felt like I could do it and so then you just know you had to go to work that summer. Now we had that class coming in and we knew that we had Jay Williams and Carlos Boozer and Mike Dunleavy, we knew we had three pros right there but they were freshman. Back then, it’s not like it is now, but freshman then, you depended on them but it wasn’t as prevalent as it is now. Like it’s the thing now but back when I was around, freshman would still have to learn their way, so we just worked our tail off that summer. That summer, Nate, myself, Shane, I was in the gym all day long, either in the gym, in the weight room or at the track because I knew as a senior, you think about, all I thought about was legacy. I didn’t think about All-ACC or ACC Player of the Year, All American, I knew if there was a chance for me to make it to the NBA, I knew we had to win and I knew that was the most important thing. I always wanted to win which I think is why I was so good at Duke because I always just wanted to win, that was the first thing, being unselfish was the second thing, then third third was for myself. The two most important things for me was winning and being unselfish because if you want to win and that’s really important, you are going to focus on everything it takes to win. Then if you are unselfish, you will play well anyways. Your shot will come and you will get your opportunities and that’s the way I wanted to play. I always want to play that way because I knew that was the right way to play.

I’m sure it was an adjustment for you, Shane and Nate as upperclassmen as to how you were going to lead that new group of freshman coming in…

I remember Jay and Carlos Boozer and Casey Sanders and those guys, they stayed with me before because that’s when freshman could come in early so they would stay with me. I had extra room where they could stay and they would hang out and that’s how I got to know those guys. Then when preseason conditioning came, I was the guy who led by example and Shane and Nate were kinda the vocal leaders. I set the tone in every sprint, anything we were doing conditioning wise, I always wanted to win and always was the leader, I always won because they needed to see that, they needed to see the dedication and the effort and then Shane and Nate, they were born leaders from top to bottom. Two of the best leaders I’ve ever met was Shane Battier and Nate James. They were consistent, they were vocal and they were tough on guys. I was the guy who when Shane and Nate would yell at guys, I would put my arm around them and tell them everything was going to be ok. We had a trio leadership type thing, the three of us we did it that way and I think those guys were really talented who came in and they just fell in line, they were great to work with and we set the tone. We lost our first two games my senior year so I said shoot, it could have gone either way but then we came back and we went 29 and 5 and the rest is history. 

What did it mean to you personally to see that group that you led win the National Championship the very next year after you graduated?

It’s the best because they don’t win that National Championship if we don’t have a good year their first year. There was no transition phase, Duke was still great and they went from winning 29 games to winning 35 games and they win the National Championship but that could have easily been a rebuilding year but it wasn’t and they brought Chris Duhon another pro into the mix and now you got five guys who played in the NBA on that team. I always knew and would say that the reason they win that year was the year before. If you have a tough year that year and say you got 18 and 14 or whatever, being a 500 team at Duke, that’s unheard of, but that didn’t happen and I’m proud of that and I was there to celebrate with them. I flew into town just to see them win it because I felt a part of that team because I knew those guys had been through it and they could do it.

What do you remember about that celebration?

I remember Nate, Shane and myself just embracing and seeing those guys, just going back to the hotel and we’re just excited. I was excited for them and anytime you get to see your guys accomplish something and do it the way they did it by playing together, by playing selfless, it’s the best feeling in the world. For me that’s what’s it all about, it’s about winning and winning is the most important thing to me in the world.

Individual stats and all that, that’s for the debaters to talk about but I think Jordan’s the best because he won the most and I love LeBron, but he only has a few championships, so he has to win to be the greatest. The guys who win the most are the greatest to me, you know? Magic, Jordan, Shaq, those guys are the greatest and I just love winners. That’s why Christian Laettner is so great to me and is one of the top 3 college basketball players of all time because he won and he was clutch. Maybe I’m too old school, I’m just about winning. That’s why I love Tim Duncan, he’s got 5 championships and he’s about winning man, he’s about winning.

Obviously you were a part of a lot of Coach K’s 1000 wins, so I was hoping to hear from you what it means to you be a part of that legacy and how have you seen your relationship grow with him from being recruited to now?

I would say that our relationship is really good. I think he’s proud of me because out of all his players, I probably had it the toughest, so for him to see me in his life, I think that’s something he’s proud of and I always hope to make him proud because I represent him. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t even have the opportunity to get into this business so I just think that our relationship is really good and I think he’s proud that I’m able to do something that I love doing and to keep working on reaching the level that he’s already gotten to. I’m just proud of being associated with Coach K and for us to have a great relationship means a lot to me. 

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