Tuesdays with the Team I: Prowitt/Washington

With Senior Day just four days away, today's press conference took on a different feel. It was less about the week-in, week-out rigors of Pac-10 basketball, and more about what Stanford's meant to the seniors and where they're going with their lives. In Part I, Peter Prowitt and Fred Washington open up…

Peter Prowitt:

Yeah, things end at some point. But it's weird how fast things have gone by.

On how he'd describe his four years:

A learning process. I feel like I grew a lot and learned a lot about myself and learned a lot about being a team player.

I ask what he's learned:

I think I've learned about being in the face of adversity, breaking my knee and then try to come back. Dealing with different injuries and different managerial styles and working with different personalities, I guess college basketball is kind of a baptism by fire. It tests your mettle at times. I'm really grateful for the experience. I feel four years out I'm kind of more prepared for the workforce, for life in general.

When we ask Fred the same question minutes later, Peter says that his response was really good and Fred can't use it. I tell Peter it was so good we should take those last few sentences and produce a "There are 300,000 Division I-A athletes and just about all of us are going pro in something other than sports" commercial. He finds this really funny.

On what he's doing next year:

I don't know exactly. I had my phone interview for Teach For America this morning. It went well but I don't know if I'll get that position. It's a program where you teach for two years at an inner-city, underfunded school and they have concrete measures for student improvement and a really wide support system. It's kind of a feeder program to law and graduate schools and it's a chance to do something good while you're young and have less responsibility.

For the reasons Peter lays out, TFA's very chic right now, with dozens of Stanford seniors applying for the program annually and only one-in-seven applicants accepted.

On his health:

Good. I kind of struggled with my knee early on and stress fractures in my foot, but right now I'm the healthiest I've been in the last two years. Really good.

Fred Washington:

On his health:

I had bronchitis on the Oregon weekend and then I pulled my groin a little bit, but I'm fine now.

Bronchitis at Oregon? I'm an asthmatic so I'm sympathetic, but that's pretty serious. First I'd heard about it. I don't know for sure, but am assuming the groin injury is what limited him at the Arizona schools.

On why he wears protective leg sleeves:

Two years in a row, I strained my calves. Sophomore year the left one, the next year the right one, so then I said, ‘Screw it, I'm going to wear them both.' They keep my legs warm. I don't know if they actively prevent anything, but I haven't sprained it since.

On his warmup routine:

I heat my hamstrings. I've had knee problems that have hurt off and on, so I just try to heat those up and stretch. I take a nap -- that helps too, but that's pretty much it. Just heat for 10, 15 minutes and stretch. I'm not really taping anything now. I messed up my hand earlier in the season and was taping that. I kept jamming my right thumb – it's been kicked like five times this year when I'm throwing passes. Landry hit it twice trying to block a pass. It's happened in a game too.

[Prowitt, joking: "It's just a miracle he's still alive."]

On his future plans:

Next year it's still up in the air. I might go play a bit overseas. I talked to Justin Davis and he said, ‘If you say anything other than playing overseas, then I'll kill you' and that's verbatim. I think eventually I want to go law school. Justin Davis, he had microscopic surgery last May so that takes at least a year. He's working out, so we see him around a lot.

On how many surgeries he's had at Stanford:

Four -- two on my wrist, one on one knee and one on the other. Only one was serious – the patella my junior year. Everything else was clean-up so it doesn't hurt later, or an ‘it kind of hurt' type of thing. The patella was ‘you can't walk.'

On how Stanford basketball's changed him:

I'm better suited to notice the good stuff more and block out the bad stuff, crap that doesn't matter. Block it out. Not having good game, Coach getting on you, everyone needs to do this.

Whether Coach gets on him:

All the time, but I block it out. I mean, I listen to it, but then it's over with.

On Johnson as a coach:

It's been interesting since I'm the only holdover since the Montgomery era. It's different. Anytime anybody coaches differently you go through the year trying to learn. For offense, when I played in high school, we just ran motion, screen away, then you come here and we have an early offense and then to have so many plays and counters for each play, it's kind of an overload. Then Coach Johnson gets here some of that stuff's changed and we're just doing so much stuff, it was just weird.

On how many plays there are:

Every play has an option in the play. Do you count that? We have five or six sets and then probably eight wrinkles out of most of them. Just a lot of stuff, that's why it takes a year or so to get comfortable in our offense.

On learning humility:

I thought we were going to win the Pac-10 title every year. I got greedy. I thought it was going to be easy. It was weird starting at very top and then seeing us in the NIT.

On whether Stanford will keep up its winning tradition if both of the twins leave:

Stanford was good before the twins. They'll be good after the twins. They'll find a way to win. We didn't build for the last 30 years for nothing.

On Finger's tomahawk on Harper Kemp:

SportsCenter hated on it. It was weird. They were like Taj Finger with a tomahawk, or as close to a tomahawk as he can get.

I thought teams never paid attention to the media?

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