Update: Derrick Zimmerman

Former Mississippi State basketball player Derrick Zimmerman graduated from Mississippi State Saturday, December 11th. Derrick talked about the significance of that and his future plans, short-term and long-term.

What did getting your degree from Mississippi State mean to you?
"That was a big accomplishment in my life. I accomplished one thing by helping the (basketball) program get back to where it was and then I got my degree."

What did it feel like when you walked onto the stage and got your degree?
"A sigh of relief. A good sigh of relief. It was something that I have always wanted to do. I know some guys don't always get their degree, but to get your degree is something special."

All the fans already thought of you as a Bulldog through and through. Does graduating from Mississippi State seal the deal in your mind?
"Well, I have the proving stamp now. I have the degree to prove it. They can't take that away from me. You cut me open now and you are going to see maroon."

Since you were an athlete at Mississippi State and now you are also a graduate, what would you tell other recruits if they were contemplating attending Mississippi State?
"I would tell them it is a great school, a great experience, a great college town and great people to be around. They treat you like family. If you have people treating you like that when you are away from home, what more do you want?"

What are your plans for the future, short-term and long-term?
"I'm still pursuing my basketball dream of getting back to the NBA. In the future, I may get into coaching some day or my brother and I may start our own business."

If you go into coaching what will you tell your players if they are being recruited by teams like Alabama, Ole Miss and, of course, Mississippi State?
"You better choose the right school (laugh)."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by email at swindoll@genespage.com.

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