Livingston Packing His Bags in June

After being named to the McDonalds All American game, Peoria Central standout Shaun Livingston has accomplished one of his goals for the season. However there are a few more things the 6-foot-7 floor general has yet to accomplish. On Sunday night he spoke with TDD about being named to the MDAA game, the NBA, and his future plans.

"Being named to the McDonalds game is a real honor," said Shaun Livingston. "I am looking forward to getting there and having a good time with the nation's best players. I've played with a lot of guys over the summer, so it'll be good to catch up with them."

Originally Livingston was thinking of competing in the dunk contest, but those plans have been scrapped in favor of just being a spectator. However, he believes he will still be able to wow the crowd when his time comes.

"I'm going to try to come out and do what I do best during the game. I am not too worried about the match ups right now. It'll be good to play with DeMarcus and the other guys, and hopefully we'll be able to pull out a win."

While he's looking forward to the game, Livingston acknowledges the importance of the workouts and practices leading up to the event in the eyes of many, including NBA scouts and executives. He's also aware of the NBA's interest in him, and the whirlwind of rumors surrounding his future plans.

"It's hard not to hear the rumors when everyone's talking about it, but I'm a Duke recruit and I'm planning on finishing up my season and then getting ready to get down there in June for summer school. The rest of this stuff is just people talking. It seems like all of them know what I am going to do, even though I haven't said anything."

Though he's planning on heading to Duke, it's hard not to listen to the lure of the millions of dollars the NBA can throw at him. So Livingston has secured a group of advisors that he will sit down with at the end of the season to discuss his future including the NBA.

"One of the reasons I picked Duke was because I trust Coach K. We've developed a relationship, and they are going to be my main advisors through all of this. I'm not about to listen to a scout whose job is to get me to declare. Once I do that their job is done, and I'm on my own. Right now the plan is to sit down with Coach after the season and get a better feel for things."

While many believe being a lock for the top 10 in the draft will be the deciding factor, Livingston is quick to stop that speculation.

"I want to make an impact in the league when I get there. That means a few years in college where I can work on my game and add weight. Right now I need to add a lot of strength to my frame if I want to have an impact when I get there. Otherwise I'll end up on the bench. Then what? I could be home in three years. I want to get there and stay for a while. Coach understands that."

So are there any other major factors being weighed in his decision?

"I think the opportunity to play for Coach K is a once in a lifetime thing. It's a honor to play for one of the best coaches ever, and he'll probably go down as the best ever. When I get to the NBA it's going to be a job, and I want to be able to do it as well as I can. The chance to learn from all of his experience and knowledge, while learning some of the tricks he can teach you is a real opportunity for me."

Over the course of the season Livingston says he's been able to follow his future teammates, and even had a chance to watch them rebound against Maryland. He says he can relate to how the Devils are doing so far this year.

"They are getting everyone's best shot, but they rebounded really well today against Maryland. It's like us [Peoria Central] – we get everyone's best and it challenges us to play well each time out. In our last game we played horrible and didn't compete until the second half, and that wasn't good enough. Hopefully we can take a page out of their book and rebound in our last two games."

TDD subscribers will have a chance to get more candid quotes from Livingston on a number of topics including his thoughts on a number of topics in the Premium Forum later this week.

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