NBPA: Q&A with Wayne Ellington

RICHMOND, Va. --- You asked and Wayne Ellington answered. Earlier this week we collected questions from Inside Carolina's readers and then sat down with the future Tar Heel this weekend at the NBPA Camp to present him your questions ...

You're playing with future backcourt mate Tywon Lawson here. Talk a little about what you know about him as a player and person and your thoughts on playing with him in college -

"It's been a lot of fun, Tywon and I playing together. We have a pretty good chemistry already. He's a great point guard. We're trying to click and get ready for in two years. We've talked off the court and about what we're going to do."

If you had your choice, what one player for 2006 would you like to have as a teammate? And are you trying to help recruit players to join you at UNC?

"I'd have to say Thaddeus Young. We played together at USA, before he got injured. I like his game, he's a long player – he's a great player. He understands the game and I think he'll fit in very well at Carolina.

"I'm rooming with Thaddeus. [Bugging him too much] would get annoying, but we just talk about it. And I give him reasons why I think he should come to Carolina. I get some good stuff back, I get some ‘maybes.' … I talk to Thaddeus a lot. ... [On putting Lawson in touch with Young over Instant Messaging] … It's the connection, it's about helping guys getting to know each other. … Hopefully he'll make the right decision."

Who has been the toughest player for you to guard so far this year?

"I'd have to say O.J. Mayo. He's very competitive and he understands the game very well. For a guy our age, what makes him so tough is his understanding of the game. He understands plays and situations very well and knows how to make his teammates better."

Your thoughts on the new age limit and how you think it'll impact you?

"I can't say I expected it, I wasn't sure what was going to happen, but it doesn't really affect me at all because my plan was to come to Carolina. I didn't have the intention of making the jump straight from high school. My plan was to go to Carolina and get my education first anyway."

Can you recall the exact moment when you decided to become a Tar Heel?

"After my official visit, I just felt like it was the right place for me. I got to spend a lot of time with the coaching staff and some of the players and it was a great atmosphere and a great environment. I thought it was the place for me to be."

What is something about your official visit that fans might not know about?

"The last night [of the visit], we were at Coach [Roy] Williams' house watching the [2005 season] highlight film. It was me, all the coaches, my parents and Marvin [Williams]. At the end of the highlight film, I looked over at Marvin and he had a tear coming down and that's when I realized Carolina basketball was serious, it was deeper than just being on the court. He told me he'd seen it a couple times and every time he got a chill."

What's the funniest thing that Coach Williams did when recruiting you?

"I can't recall just one thing. He's a great guy and a humorous guy, that makes you laugh and allows you to have fun with basketball, he doesn't make it so serious."

What do you like most about Roy Williams' strategy/Carolina Basketball?

"The running style, Coach Williams as a coach. The tradition of Carolina basketball, man."

What number do you plan on or would like to wear at UNC?

"I want to wear No. 22."

Who is your favorite Tar Heel of all time?

"You probably won't be surprised, but – Michael Jordan."

What areas of your game do you plan to concentrate on the hardest before you get to UNC?

"[The UNC coaches and I] haven't really talked about that yet. Coach Williams is actually supposed to be calling me after the camp. I haven't talked about what they want me to work on, but I want to get stronger, get in the weight room a lot, and get mentally tougher. At the college level you have to be a lot tougher mentally."

Were there any players in the Philly area, college or the NBA that you looked up to growing up?

"My favorite player, Kobe Bryant, came out of the same area as where I live at. On the court, I just love watching him. The things he does, the way he moves – I try to steal some of his moves."

What player (college or pro) do you think your style of play most resembles?

"I don't really have one player. A lot of people say Ray Allen, but I don't have one in mind."

Do you have any pre-game rituals you always do to prepare for games? If so, what are they?

"Every time I step on the court, I just do a certain something with my feet every time. I don't know what it is, but it's what I do."

What sport would you focus on if you couldn't play hoops?

"The only other sport I played was football. I was actually pretty good – I was a pretty good wideout – but I had to put an end to that. I would like to play football if I wasn't playing basketball."

Are there any nicknames you have and/or prefer to go by?

"Everybody calls me Weez."

How about a list of favorites...

Favorite movie?

"I have a couple favorites, actually. He Got Game, Love and Basketball, Godfather, Scarface."

Favorite food?

"Probably would be fried chicken."

Favorite music artist?

"I have a couple – I like Biggie and Jay Z."

Favorite book?

"I read Michael Jordan's autobiography and liked that."

Favorite school subject?

"Math. I like math a lot – working with numbers."

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