Dominic James 1 on 1 with MarquetteHoops.com

Dominic James returned to the Marquette campus on Monday and spoke with the media about his experience with the NBA tryout camp in Orlando. Afterwards, James sat down with John Dodds of MarquetteHoops.com. In part one of the two part series 'Neek' talks about what he has been through....

John Dodds: You said during today's press conference that you lost the chip on your shoulder. What did you mean?

Dominic James: My entire life like I said I have faced adversity a lot. People who have doubted me my entire life, they doubted me at the high school level, they doubted me before I came to Marquette as far as being successful. They didn't think I was going to have any success at the college level but then after my first year I had a solid year. In my second year, I started off great at the beginning of the season and then that's when I started getting a lot more exposure and things like that and for the first time in my life, I started believing in what other people were telling me. Instead of just staying true to myself and remembering all the things I went through and all the adversity I had to face and overcome. I kind of forgot about that and started believing what people were telling me and that's what I was talking about as far as losing the chip. That's what drives me everyday to go out there and play harder than anybody else and I kind of lost it and that's exactly what I mean as far as losing the chip on my shoulder. Now I've got the added motivation of not making it to the NBA, people were doubting my game and now I'm back in the gym working harder and trying to prove to everybody that I'm not getting complacent. I'm not satisfied and I want more for myself.

John Dodds: You had a great game at Duke against Duke in Kansas City, and then at the end of the Valpo game at their place. I don't know if I've ever seen a Marquette player score more at the end of a game. You scored 16 or 18 of the last 20 points, but then later in the year it seemed like did you lose confidence in your outside shot. By the Big East Tournament it looked like you were hesitant. You could drive as well as you always could but were you hesitant shooting?

Dominic James: I feel like I was (hesitant). I kind of lost confidence in my shot. That's the thing I'm talking about is that I'm a confident player and once I lose my confidence and things like that, then it starts becoming a lot more obvious, just like you said, I was being more hesitant in my shot and things like that. I feel like I could get to the basket any time I want but I've got to become a smarter player. I settled for my shot a lot this year just because I may be trying to prove people wrong that I can shoot the shot but that's not the mindset you've got to have. I've just got to come out there every night and play my game and when I do that, I feel like that's when I'm at my best and that's when I get the exposure and the credit that I need.

John Dodds: What's your schedule for the rest of the summer? Coach Crean said you will try out for the Pan Am games.

Dominic James: The Pan Am games is obviously something I want to do. The Labron James camp is something I might want to do as well, but obviously with me coming back, coach and I have to sit down and figure out the rest of my schedule as far as the summer goes. I'm enrolled in a class and trying to get back on the academic path so right now I'm just sitting down with coach trying to get the days right and make sure that I'm in the place I need to be.

John Dodds: Last week Tom Crean said that the only way a player could remain eligible during an NBA try out is if the player is good academically, otherwise you miss too much school time. He said if you had been a 2.0 student rather than a 3.2, you wouldn't have been able to do it.

Dominic James: Most definitely. I feel like people don't understand how "hand in hand" it is what you do in the classroom and what you do on the court. I'm just glad and blessed to have that understanding that your work ethic in the classroom is going to pay off on the court and that's what it did for me. They complement each other in so many different ways and that's why I feel like it is important for so many young people to understand that. And that's why I try to spread the word to all the younger players that your work ethic in the classroom is going to help your work ethic on the basketball floor, so I'm just glad I have that focus in the classroom which allows me to pursue my dream.

Watch for part two of this interview coming soon where Dominic talks about the team's progress heading towards next season!


Marquette Hoops Top Stories