Free Read: Back In "Big D"

Former Justin F. Kimball High School product and SMU Mustang Quinton Ross is back in Dallas. After playing the past five seasons for the Clippers and Grizzlies, Ross has signed with the Dallas Mavericks. What has life been like for Ross since his college days? What does he think of the current state of SMU basketball? goes 1-on-1 with the guard!

Welcome home. How does it feel to be back in Dallas after stops in Belgium, Los Angeles & Memphis?
I'm excited. It's a fun time. I always dreamed of playing in the NBA, but to play in my home town is a really unbelievable feeling.

Did you dream of playing for the Mavs as a kid? Were you a Mavs fan?
I didn't really dream of playing for the Mavs. I just wanted to play in the NBA. Growing up I watched Dallas a lot, but I was more of a Chicago Bulls fan. You know, Michael Jordan and the Bulls were winning championships, but I always kept up with the Dallas teams.

I assume there were multiple options for you this offseason. Why did you choose the Mavs?
I just think it was the best fit. They are a playoff contender every year, and I just wanted to experience that. I got a little taste of that in my second year with the Clippers, and it was a great feeling. I want to get back to the playoffs to see what that feels like.

In comparison with LA & Memphis, what, if anything, is different here in Dallas?
I wouldn't say there is a major difference. These guys come to work every day. They are great guys off the court, and they take care of business on the court. They are very focused on playing the game and on winning and trying to win a championship.

You are known in the NBA as a defensive specialist, but at SMU you were one of the main offensive weapons. Was this a conscious decision on your part to focus on defense to make a name for yourself?
Definitely. You know, in this league everybody can score a basket. There are a lot of talented guys. You've got to find your niche if you want to stick around. My thing has been defense. I've been trying to step up my offensive game for a while. I shot it pretty good last year. I try to get better offensively, but at that same time still bring that defensive prowess to the court.

What are you hoping for this season? Any team goals?
We are hoping to compete. Ultimately, you know, the goal is to win a championship. This team has all the pieces to put things together and make a run. We'll see what happens.

What are you going to do about all the ticket requests from family and friends now that you are back in town?
I'm going to try to set the tone early. I got a lot of requests for this first game, but I only gave away a few tickets to try to set the tone for the season. I used to only play in Dallas once or twice a year. Now I have 41 home games.

The Mavs have been practicing at SMU. What are your thoughts of the Crum Center?
It's spectacular man. We didn't have that when I was there. Going back and seeing that is incredible. It is a top notch facility.

Have you kept up with SMU over the years?
I check the scores every year. I'm an alum, so I definitely try to keep up with them. You know, hopefully we can string together a few more wins and surprise some people and maybe make the tournament this year.

Have you met Coach Doherty and any of the players? What are your thoughts?
Coach came in a couple of days to watch our practices. I actually played up there this summer with some of the guys. On the whole, they have some pretty talented players over there. I feel like they have the pieces to put together and they will be okay.

Will you try to attend any SMU games this season?
Oh yeah, most definitely. Especially since I am back home I am going to support the program.

SMU fans have always followed your career since you left. How does it feel to be a fan favorite?
It feels good to know they appreciated my time on The Hilltop. Hopefully I'll be able to continue my career and they can continue to follow me.

Are there any games that stand out to you as the most memorable from your career at SMU?
My senior year, there were two games. The first would be the game where we finally beat TCU. We beat them at Moody in overtime. The second game was when I had my career high against the University of North Texas a couple games later.

Do you keep up with any of your teammates?
I see some of them around. Every time I see them it is fun to reminisce. It's hard because I'm gone a lot. It's tough, but when we do see each other it is always fun.

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