We fired 20 questions at Seattle's Spencer Hawes some basketball-related and some not. Hopefully at the end you'll know him just a little bit better.
KC: Let’s go with some basketball questions first. Whose game does yours most resemble?
SH: I don’t know how closely it resembles it, but with the NBA game, I try to emulate Tim Duncan in a lot of stuff. With his savvy and how he goes about scoring. How he leads by example for his team. (On the college level) I’d say my game kind of compares to someone like an Andrew Bogut. He can really pass the ball you know he’s a versatile center who doesn’t just make a living down in the blocks. He’s not someone who just posts up down low-- he comes up to the high post, he shoots jumpers, and he handles the ball. You know the team’s offense goes through him.
KC: So is Tim Duncan your favorite NBA player?
SH: Yes he is.
KC: Who was your idol growing up? It doesn’t have to be a basketball player.
SH: Michael Jordan. The reasons are obvious.
KC: If there’s one thing you want all the schools recruiting you to know, what would it be?
SH: My personality off the court. How it translates and to know that I’m a well-rounded kid that it is not the only thing they’ll get out of it, and leadership skills.
KC: Describe your game to someone who’s never seen you play.
SH: Kind of balanced like I was saying before. Balance inside and outside. Versatility is something I try to stress. I’m also “old school” which is still working I can get it down in the blocks. It’s something you don’t see much of today…it’s really kind of a shame but it’s just how the game has kind of evolved.
KC: What’s the best part about being recruited by such an impressive list of schools?
SH: Being able to make a decision and having in my control what I’m going to do with my future and where I’m going to go.
KC: What’s the worst part of recruiting?
SH: As fun as the attention was at first, all the attention gets old it’s kind of encompassing.
KC: Zone or man-to-man?
SH: For me?? Oh I’m a man-to-man guy.
KC: You recently competed for USA Basketball in France. What was it like to wear U-S-A across your chest?
SH: That was a special feeling every time you put the jersey on. You get that sense of pride and realize you’re not just playing for yourself, you’re not just messing around with your buddies, you’re representing your country and you’re representing America against some of the best competition in the world. That was a special feeling and sometimes you just sit back and think about it you realize what you’re doing is bigger then a lot of things you’ve been involved with in the past.
KC: Can you see yourself on an NBA draft night in the not too distant future?
SH: Hopefully. That’s my dream. With the new age limit who knows how it’s going to work out but that’s my dream.
KC: Are you disappointed in the 19-year old age restriction that was just announced?
SH: Oh no. I wasn’t disappointed. It’s something that I thought would become a necessity because there are so many guys that just think they’re ready and really aren’t. With the exception of maybe a couple of guys every year, there’s too many guys that throw away opportunities to have great careers by just bad timing and bad decision-making. You’d like to have the opportunities to make the decision with what you’re going to do for yourself. But you know that’s how it worked out. I’m not disappointed by it.
KC: Were you considering the jump to the NBA?
SH: I was never really considering it that seriously so take it or leave it (the age restriction rule) I was planning on going to college anyways.
KC: Last basketball question and I think I already know the answer. East Coast or West Coast basketball?
SH: Which is better? Definitely West Coast.
KC: You have to tell me why though.
SH: Because I live on the West Coast.
KC: I need more than that.
SH: You know that’s a really biased answer I think they’re pretty equal across the board.
KC: Now some fun questions. Best part of living in Seattle?
SH: I like everything about it. The worst part is the rain. I like the variety and the terrain with the mountains, the lakes, and the bay – all that stuff.
KC: Since I’m addicted and you do live in Seattle, do you drink Starbucks coffee?
SH: No. That stuff is gross (Laughs).
KC: How many hours during the school year do you spend studying per week?
SH: Probably 10 during the school week.
KC: If you don’t mind me asking, what’s your GPA?
KC: I don’t blame you for wanting to tell me that. You should be proud of that number.
SH: Oh yeah. It’s dropped a little bit but I’ll get it back up
KC: Something other people would be surprised to know about you…
SH: I used to play lacrosse until 2 years ago. That’s probably not something a lot of guys do; especially big guys.
KC: What kind of car do you drive? People can learn a lot about a person by the car they drive you know.
SH: A Ford Expedition.
KC: Coke or Pepsi?
No wonder why Spencer Hawes has many of the nation’s top programs drooling. He’s got the total package. He’s intelligent, engaging and you can bet he’ll be successful in college and beyond. The Seattle Prep star embraces the idea of stepping into a leadership role, idolizes a player who’s been the MVP of the NBA Finals 3 times, and says he plays like the player who was just selected first in the NBA draft. Need I say more? Oh yeah and he welcomes the idea of going to college to develop his game so that he’s NBA-ready.
This much is certain after just a short conversation with the versatile 6-11 center, the school that finally does acquire his services, will not just be getting a terrific talent on the court; off the court he’s a winner too.
Spencer is a terrific prospect and we look forward to following his recruiting progress throughout the summer.