One On One With Chris Duhon

One of the benefits of attending the NBA Top 100 camp is the opportunity to not only learn how to improve your game, but also the chance to hear what a professional basketball career really means. This year TDD was able to gain that kind of knowledge when former Blue Devil great Chris Duhon sat down with us.

TDD: Being an NBA player and a coach here at NBA Top 100 Camp, how are you finding the kids are responding to you and what you are sharing with them?

Chris Duhon: Some are responding and some aren't. To be honest, there's some kids here who think they know it all and they have a lot of ego at this point. On the flip side it is good that they have that type of confidence, because you do need that in the NBA.

There are others who try learn more. They want to know the tricks of the trade. They are asking me what it takes to get to the next level, so you gotta be patient and offer the advice, and then it's up to them if they want to take it.

What has the experience of being a former Dukie in the NBA been like?

It's great on and off the court. Duke has a huge network, and a huge fan base. Everywhere I go, I come across people who love Duke and support me. All the experiences I've had because of Duke have been great.

How did playing at Duke prepare you for life in the NBA?

Coach K and Duke taught me a lot about how to brand myself, how to network, and knowing that basketball is not going to be there for all your life. And how to go about preparing for life after basketball is really important. A lot of us as former Duke players now in the NBA, we know that we're going to play as long as we can in the league, but we've already setup ourselves for life after basketball. Duke taught me how to play the game the right way and to prepare for life after basketball as well.

How did playing for Duke help you prepare to play under different coaches in the NBA?

At Duke the main thing you learn is about playing hard and consistently and being responsible. They talk a lot in the program about collective responsibility, trusting in the coach, in the system, and in your teammates. I took those core values from Duke and they still help to this day. Obviously the NBA atmosphere is really different from college, but those core values I learned at Duke have helped me a lot in the locker room, on and off the court.

How have you dealt with playing in different places so far in your career?

You have to kind of look at it like you do in college in that the senior class is leaving and then a new freshman class is coming in. You don't see the same faces the whole four years you're in college, and it's the same way in the pros. You see new faces almost every season. It's just part of the process and you learn to handle it the right way.

You came in a year after Jason Williams and there seems to be a trend with Coach K where he'll bring in really talented guards either together or one year after the other. What was the experience like for you as a player playing with a talented guard like Jason Williams in the Duke program?

It was such a great experience. To play alongside Jay helped me grow as a player and our strength and weaknesses got better. I'm a better person for going up against him in practice everyday, and you build good friendships with each other and it was a great experience overall for us.

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