Charlie Rodriguez Speaks

Interview with Chris Hernandez' teammate, junior Charlie Rodriguez

One of the great parts about watching the Pump & Run squad so many times was my chance to see rising junior PF Charlie Rodriguez. He's a thrill to watch on the court, but also a great person off the court. He's all smiles, all the time, and was happy to talk with The Bootleg one evening at the tournament. In fact, I think he had a big grin on his face during the entire interview...

Note: Charlie Rodriguez is from the Dominican Republic. English is relatively new to Charlie, so his answers are a bit short. But he loves to talk, especially in very comfortable environments.

The Bootleg: Right off the bat, what is your current weight and height?
Charlie Rodriguez: My weight - 230, height - 6'7".

The Bootleg: Are there any other sports you play at Clovis West?
Charlie Rodriguez: No. I only play basketball. I could play baseball (grins), but I don't play in high school.

The Bootleg: Now that you are having so much success this summer, are you feeling a lot of attention from Division I coaches?
Charlie Rodriguez: Yeah, I think they are looking more at me.

The Bootleg: Any schools you are already hearing a lot from?
Charlie Rodriguez: Stanford, Duke... a lot.

The Bootleg: Any other Pac-10 or West Coast schools?
Charlie Rodriguez: Mainly UCLA.

The Bootleg: You mention Stanford and Duke, which are both known as high academic institutions. How will academics rate in your decision?
Charlie Rodriguez: Yeah, it will be important. I want to go to Stanford... Stanford and maybe Duke.(still, big grin)

The Bootleg: Do you mind sharing with us your GPA at Clovis West?
Charlie Rodriguez: My GPA is 3.8.

The Bootleg: Have you taken the SAT yet?
Charlie Rodriguez: No.

The Bootleg: When do you plan on taking it, and have you taken the PSAT?
Charlie Rodriguez: Next year. No, I haven't taken the PSAT.

The Bootleg: So, who is the better student - you or Chris Hernandez?
Charlie Rodriguez: Oh, I don't know. Maybe Chris, since he has a 4.0. It's close, though (really big grin).

The Bootleg: For those people who haven't seen you play before, is there a player in the NBA who you would compare yourself to, in style of play?
Charlie Rodriguez: Chris Webber. He's a good player and people say I play like him.

The Bootleg: We've seen your outstanding inside game, but how would you rate your shooting range?
Charlie Rodriguez: I'm inside. An inside guy (more grins).

The Bootleg: How has it been playing on this team, playing with someone like a Dennis Latimore?
Charlie Rodriguez: It's been great. It has helped me OK.

The Bootleg: How has your camp experience this year compared with your summer last year?
Charlie Rodriguez: Yeah, I played last year, too, but not in the ABCD.

The Bootleg: There were some great reports on you at that ABCD camp. How was it for you?
Charlie Rodriguez: Oh, it was great. It was a great tournament. They said I was the best player. It was just exciting.

The Bootleg: When you are looking at a school, what will be your criteria deciding down the line? What is going to help you make your decision?
Charlie Rodriguez: My coaches and my family will be important in that.

The Bootleg: Are you going to try and stay close to home, or does that matter?
Charlie Rodriguez: Yeah, I want to stay close to home.

The Bootleg: How far away do you consider to be "close"?
Charlie Rodriguez: Maybe two hours.

The Bootleg: Two hours?
Charlie Rodriguez: Yeah (laughs).

The Bootleg: How does then a Duke fit into the picture?
Charlie Rodriguez: (still laughing) Oh, I don't know. Hmmm. That's a long way. (more laughing)
Nearby friend of the team: Maybe two hours by plane! (laughter all the way around)

The Bootleg: Chris has already committed to Stanford. Is he trying to sell you on coming there, too?
Charlie Rodriguez: Not really. But I really want to play with Chris. We play great together in high school. I just want to play with Chris.

The Bootleg: Does he take care of you inside?
Charlie Rodriguez: Yeah, he really takes care of me (big grin).

The Bootleg: What would you say is your greatest strength on the court?
Charlie Rodriguez: Probably my moves inside, and how I take it strong to the basket.

The Bootleg: What is your weakness? What do you need to work on the most?
Charlie Rodriguez: Probably my outside shooting and my dribbling.

The Bootleg: How about those free throws? (grin)
Charlie Rodriguez: Oh yeah. I need to work on those (grins back).

The Bootleg: Is there anything you like to do for fun, in your free time, away from basketball?
Charlie Rodriguez: I don't know. I just like to go out with my friends, with Chris. Just go to movies and do stuff.

The Bootleg: Do you know yet what you want to study when you go to school?
Charlie Rodriguez: I want to be a civil engineer.

The Bootleg: When you look at schools, is the civil engineering program going to be important to you?
Charlie Rodriguez: Oh yeah.

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