BarkBoard: Why was Fresno State your choice?
Myles Fitzgerald-Warren: Fresno State was my choice because I really believed in the coaching staff and the players they’ve got over there. Coach Rodney Terry, he has the program going in the right direction obviously with the last two years… They went to the NCAA Tournament and then they just made the NIT Tournament. I thought, man, if I could go there, dig in and make the best out of the situation, I should do great.
It’s a blue collar school and it fits me well because I like to get out and run and really just play basketball. I really do appreciate basketball. I’ve been hurt my last two years, so I’ve got a lot to make up for. I was hurt my sophomore and junior years.
Can you explain more about your injury?
My freshman year I did great. I started on varsity as a freshman, I got my team to the 5A semifinals in the state of Oregon for the first time in 20 years. Then my next year I thought I was going to come out and do a lot better, but it turns out I had a couple of stress fractures in my foot so I had to sit out. Then the year following that I had a couple more stress fractures so me and my (parents) thought it would be a good idea to go in and get an MRI and get in my foot to see what was going on. They figured out I had a conjunction in my calcaneus so they had to go in and shave a little bit. Then I played my senior year after surgery and everything worked out fine that I landed this offer from Fresno.
What did it feel like playing your senior year compared to your freshman year?
Going through everything with my foot, it was very humbling and gave me a lot of perspective. It was a blessing to be out there my senior year.
I didn’t put on a lot of weight, I didn’t want to come back slower… so I tried to stay fit. I did a lot of pool exercises to stay healthy - low impact on the foot and things of that nature.
So I imagine if you played well enough to earn a scholarship, you are feeling pretty well with your foot now?
Did any other schools recruit you?
Recruiting didn’t really pick up until the end of my senior year. Then Fresno State had already came in and kind of said they wanted me. I was just like, I’m going to go with my gut and get this visit in and see how it goes. So there was not a whole lot of other stuff.
How did your visit go?
I just took that visit Saturday and Sunday.
When I first got there I visited the facilities - everything was beautiful. I got to hang out with a couple of teammates. I got a real good vibe of the city and the campus. Everybody treated me very well. I fell in love with the atmosphere there. It’s isolated - my kind of atmosphere - where I can go there, dig in, and focus on what needs to be focused.
What was the biggest highlight of the trip?
The biggest highlight of my trip, man, the meals. They fed me great. They overfed me, actually. They took me to a couple really, really good spots.
The team was just coming off of the NIT loss, what was the atmosphere like?
Johnny and Sam Bittner were my hosts and they just treated me well. They seemed up in spirits. They seemed excited about the next years to come. They said the program is headed in the right direction and everything is going good and (they) were excited about what it can be. They were positive, and from what I saw, nobody was down on themselves. Everybody was positive.
Who was your primary recruiter?
I probably talked the most with Coach Terry. Then after that, probably Coach Jones talked to me the second most, but probably Coach Terry.
What do you think of Coach Terry?
Great, great, great coach. He obviously has the track record. You can compare his track record to anybody. He was an assistant at Texas. He knows his stuff. I just feel if I go in and commit myself to him, he will help me develop not only as a player but as a man. He teaches great life lessons and is just a great person, from what I got from him. A lot of the business - people just tell you what you want to hear. Coach Terry, I feel, was the most genuine that I talked to. He showed me he cares about me as player and a person.
Do you know what they have planned for you for your role?
I haven’t discussed redshirting or my minutes yet, but they want me to come in and play point guard… I feel like I would just help unify everybody and build on the cohesiveness that the team already has. I feel like I would just get everybody involved and be a good point guard. My game fits well with the certain situation because at my high school, I don’t have a whole bunch of talent, but I make it work. So I feel like given the athleticism that’s already there, I feel I will strive and do great.
How would you describe your game - are you a distributor?
I feel 9 times out of 10 I make the right decision - I’m a good decision maker … I wouldn’t say (I’m just a distributor). What the game gives me is how I react. If I have a shot I’m not afraid to shoot. I just play the game off of how it plays me.
You hadn’t committed yet, but did you watch any of Fresno State’s games, while keeping in mind you might play for them next year?
I got a chance to watch them play against Nevada during the conference tournament and I got to watch a little bit of the TCU game - not a whole lot, but I came in late when my father was watching… When I was watching them, I was just trying to put it in perspective of how I could benefit the team … and how I can impact the game. I can help get everybody involved because I felt they were missing a guy who gels the team together, who makes everything move smoothly. I think when I get there I feel like there might be some rough patches in the beginning, but once we start getting going everything will go smoothly.
Did you see anything that made you realize the talent level?
When I was there, I saw Deshon can shoot the lights out. And Jaron’s athleticism is crazy. They really excited me on the defensive end - how active everybody was. Because if you can play defense, offense kind of takes care of itself. If you’re not turning the ball over a whole bunch.
What is your current height and weight?
What’s your timeline going forward?
I think they told me the next signing period is in April.
When I’m supposed to go down there is June 29, when they’re second session starts … As far as what I’ll be doing here in Oregon, they gave me a few things that they told me to work on. I’ll just be in the gym trying to improve my game.
Reflecting in everything, how do you feel now having gotten the offer and making your commitment?
It’s beautiful. All glory be to God. I feel like he put me in this situation for a reason and now it’s up to me to make the best of it.
It’s a lot less stressful. Now I don’t have to worry about my parents being on my back about what I’m going to do next year and I can dial and prepare for Fresno.