Meet New Zag 7' Calum MacLeod

Gonzaga has had great success with Australian student-athletes but this time a long, tall talent comes to Spokane from even further down under. Calum MacLeod talks about Gonzaga, New Zealand, his game and..."Lord of the Rings", to name a few topics.

Zags Hoops' Zagirl caught up with the newest Bulldog on campus and found a few minutes to chat. Between lots of students stopping to say hey, Calum MacLeod answered the following questions--

Zagirl: What do you intend to major in?

CM: Right now I am undecided; I'm taking core classes like history, music, and so on.

Zagirl: Has it been difficult adjusting to college life in a different country?

CM: It hasn't been too bad actually. People are pretty friendly; if not I would have gotten home-sick.

Zagirl: Had you heard of Gonzaga before they recruited you?

CM: Yeah.

Zagirl: Have you ever played against former Australian Zags, like John Rillie, Paul Rogers, or Axel Dench?

CM: No, because they are in professional leagues.

Zagirl: Was it a difficult decision to leave home and attend school several thousand miles away?

CM: It was what I wanted to do for quite some years, to come over here and play.

Zagirl: What attracted you to Gonzaga?

CM: One of the coaches in New Zealand knows Coach Billy Grier here and he got me on to the school.

Zagirl: What are your strengths on the court?

CM: Shooting and a hook-shot.

Zagirl: What are your weaknesses?

CM: Probably my strength at the moment and adapting to the physical and intense game.

Zagirl: Do you have a favorite move, like a deadly jump-hook?

CM: Probably a rolling hook.

Zagirl: Have you noticed any differences between the game here to the game in New Zealand?

CM: Yeah. The game here is a lot more physical, intense, and faster. It's also more athletic. [laughs] I think that everyone in New Zealand has lead feet.

Zagirl: What are your goals while you play here at Gonzaga?

CM: I'd love to win the WCC every year and go to the NCAA tournament.

Zagirl: Who's more difficult to face in practice: Ronny Turiaf or Cory Violette?

CM: They're both really good players. They play different games. Cory is more strength and physical while Ronny is more athletic.

Zagirl: Are you still growing?

CM: I'm not really sure. I haven't grown for a year or so.

Zagirl: Since the Lord of the Rings was released, people have been commenting on how beautiful New Zealand is. What is it like in the area surrounding your city, Wellington?

CM: It's gorgeous. Some rain forest. We have really nice bushwalks and mountains. We have four seasons with good skiing in the mountains. It's a very beautiful country, more so than Australia.

Zagirl: Speaking of Lord of the Rings, I heard it made quite an impact on your country. Do you have a good Lord of the Rings story to share with us?

CM: [Laughs] For a university field trip we visited some Lord of the Ring filming sites. We saw where the Great River in the movie was. You know, where the horses come out of the water? It looked pretty cool.

Zagirl: Being 7 feet tall, was the flight from New Zealand to Spokane torture?

CM: I got up-graded to business class. The plane wasn't very full so they set me up with four chairs at first so I could lie out on them, but it got uncomfortable after a while so they moved me up to business. So I got free food and a good, solid cat-nap. I was awake for 36 hours straight and arrived in Spokane at 6pm. I stayed up until close to midnight and then had to get up at 7am for a 9 o'clock class.

Zagirl: What food do you miss most?

CM: I miss the nice roasts: roast lamb and steaks. In New Zealand they're raised on large farms and are free-range. It gives the meat a nicer flavor.

Many thanks to Zagirl and to Calum for letting Zags everywhere get to know him a little.

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