Q&A with Ivan Rabb

HAMPTON, Va. --- Ivan Rabb's making the most of his East Coast swing, with two days of EYBL action and then two college visits. He spoke at length on Saturday about the upcoming visits and his recruitment ...

You've got some unofficial visits coming up …

On Monday and Tuesday I'm going to North Carolina and I'm going to Georgetown. I'm going on unofficials because I'm in the area and I'm looking forward to them.

Any chance you squeeze in any other visits while in the area?

As of right now probably not because I have school next week and while I'm on this trip I'm still doing my homework. My time is very limited but I'm happy to be going to those two schools. … I'm highly interested in both of them. I'm trying to get to schools every time I'm close to a school I'm thinking about attending. So far it's these first two. I'm going to the Global Challenge in Chicago and I'll see if there are any schools around there that I'm interested in going to.

How did these two visits get set up?

I had home visits with both of them, actually, and I was very interested in what they're saying and happy about how they saw me in their systems. And I remembered that I was coming out here to Boo Williams and it's really close to both of the venues. I have family in DC, so I'll get to stay with family when I go to Georgetown, and then when I go to North Carolina – they're both really close so I'm happy to be able to go.

What do you hope to get out of the trip this week to Chapel Hill?

I don't really know what to expect, but I want to meet the guys on the team. That's the biggest thing. I know Kennedy, I know Theo … I saw Kennedy and got his contact info for the trip.

What family do you have in DC? Does that make you more willing, as a guy from the west coast, to consider east coast schools?

Not really, I was always interested in going to the east coast or west coast – it didn't really matter to me. I have a longtime family friend – who is like an uncle to me – and he welcomed us into his home and he's going to take us in while I'm going on these visits.

What are other schools on your list that you're considering possibly visiting down the road?

USC, UCLA, Cal – I'll take unofficials to those, they're all in California. And other schools I want to possibly visit are Kansas, N.C. State maybe something like that, I'm not sure right now. … I'm thinking about going up to Arizona for the Red-Blue game for an unofficial, but I'm not sure yet … (Kansas) may get an official. Right now I don't have a set five officials, but I'm definitely looking at them really hard.

Can you talk about the relationship and inroads that North Carolina has made with you and your mom?

Coach Roy Williams, he told me he's a lot older than us, but he kind of related to us. He's a really funny guy. He made me feel comfortable with him in my own home. Most times when people come into my house, I'm kind of wary of them. But he made me feel comfortable, that's the biggest thing. We laughed a lot. He showed me some film about some of the bigs they have there and what he'd want me to do if I did attend that school.

What bigs did he show you or compare you to on film?

He compared the bigs he has there right now, and he said I'm a mesh between all of them. Like Kennedy is a good passer, McAdoo is a strong guy but he was out on the perimeter. He showed me there are a lot of different things I can do on the court and he thinks that if I'm in his system, it could make the game a lot easier for him.

Roy Williams had a previous player at UNC from Oakland, Quentin Thomas. Do you know him and his family at all?

His young sister is like my best friend, my sister. We go to the same school and went to the same middle school, too. … I've met (Quentin) before but I haven't really talked to him a lot.

You've talked about visiting UNC officially in October. Is that firmed up at this point?

We've talked about it, but I'm not exactly sure. It's Late Night with Roy, there's a big football game, and that's all I know. I heard it's really exciting. There are a few other guys who want to come with me, but I'm not sure if they're ready to do it or not.

Who are those other guys?

One guy I can name is Diamond. Diamond said he might come too to Late Night with Roy on Oct. 3.

You and your teammate on the EYBL this year, Stephen Zimmerman, seem to be getting a little bit more comfortable playing with one another. How's that been going?

It's been tough so far because we haven't really practiced together. But we're both pretty good at basketball, we have high IQs, and I think as our team starts playing together, me and Zimm's chemistry will get better and take our game to another level.

Zimmerman is being recruited by a lot of the same schools as you. Have you guys talked at all about that?

We definitely talked about it a few times, but we're not sure if we're going to do it or not. Right now I'm not sure if it'll happen at all, but we enjoy playing together, we're like brothers, and I mean I just love playing with him and I hope we get better throughout the rest of the season.

Do you see ways that your games complement each other?

We do. He's more outside – I can be outside too, but his game is more polished on the outside – and I'm inside, getting to the free throw line, rebound, and make the game tougher for the other team.

What college programs did you watch a lot growing up?

Honestly I never really was the type of guy who could sit through a whole college basketball game as a young kid. But you always see Kansas, Duke, North Carolina, UCLA - those types of schools on TV. Now I have to watch a lot more because I'm going to college in two years. I'm trying to get into it more. I've been more of an NBA guy, I like to watch NBA players because that's what I might do in the future, but I definitely need to get into that a lot more.

Who are the players that you like to watch and you pattern your game after?

I take something from everybody, guards and bigs. But bigs-wise, Andre Drummond on rebounds, Zach Randolph getting his body into people and finishing, Chris Bosh and LaMarcus Aldridge on jumpshots ... KG is my favorite player ever. Ralph Sampson, I take something from all guys –

Did you say Ralph Sampson? Where did you see him play?

I've seen film. I enjoy watching film, I think that's what separates me from other people because I understand the game a lot more. I'll watch film of what guys did in the NBA or even when they'll play somewhere like Rucker Park where they'll do something and I'll try to add that to my game.

So how'd you come across Ralph Sampson footage?

I used to have this VHS tape that my mom bought for me for Christmas that had Julius Erving, Ralph Sampson, and all types of old school players. I used to watch it over and over again. I liked his game.

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