Malik Dime leads the pack spoke Friday with senior forward Malik Dime at the Pac-12 Men's Basketball Media Day in San Francisco, and the UW captain talked at length about his leadership role on the team, among many other things.

On being captain “We all know that captain is related to being a leader. I just have to lead the team on and off the floor. Try to make sure that everybody does the right thing so, just be a leader.”

How did you find out you were a captain? “My teammates made me captain actually. We had a meeting after the season. Coach Romar asked each of us who do you think should be a captain, like individual meeting. I guess all of them chose me, which I was surprised about it. But I guess they just have so much respect for me and look up to me, so I think that’s the reason why they picked me. And they believe in me too, so I’ll never let them down.”

On playing fearlessly “I mean maybe being from Africa has it’s ways. I’m not really scared of anything and when I step on the floor I just try to give it 100% giving everything that I’ve got and just leave it on the floor. There’s no one that I should be scared of being on the floor. Everybody is my enemy and you have to battle with your enemy. 

On bringing back the finger wag “Actually that’s funny because I was thinking about bringing that this year. We’ll see. I might bring the finger this year.”

On his offseason “After the season I had a long meeting with (Coach Romar). We talked about - he asked me what do I think that I should do to help us be a better team. So we laid it out and I knew that I had to do a lot of work to be better. I got in the gym and I just kept on working on my game, mostly on my offense. I think that’s a good thing because last year I feel like if I contributed more on offense it would help the team be in a better position. That’s what I needed to work on the most.”

On his offensive game “At this point it’s both on the block and mid-range. I could make plays form the block already. So I just decided to work more on it and work on the mid range.”

Did you have any strange workouts? “No I never did anything like that. But I would love to do ballet though. My legs are too long. I don’t think I could do it at this point.”

On Ramadan “Compared to last year I think I made major progress. Last year I was in there the whole month of Ramadan. This year I was at home for about 12 days. So what I was doing was I would make sure I’d stay the latest I can at night time, eat, then sleep most of the day so when I wake up I don’t have to fast as long. It would only be like five hours until I eat, unlike last year where I had to wake up everyday to workout at 6:00 in the morning.”

On good luck and Ramadan “It’s pretty much like education of your desire, your body. It’s pretty much mental toughness. If you can’t eat all day, if you can’t drink all day, if you cannot do anything else, you cannot have anything exciting, you cannot have any pleasure; it’s pretty much like once you’re done with it it really shows you how to appreciate things in life. There are a lot of people where I’m from, they aren’t really eating like that. We have to be thankful for anything we get.”

On the big men“‘I’m so very thankful that we have Sam (Timmins) and Matthew (Atawe) in addition to us. It’s huge for us. All the big men, anybody can go there and contribute on offense and all of us play defense, can get up and down the floor. It’s really a big help for this team”

How are you going to get the ball more? “It’s all about trust. I trust in my teammates and they have trust in me. When I post up and I’m open, they have trust in me that if they give me the ball I’m going to score or I’m going to make the right play. That’s just how it goes. It’s all about trust.”

On only having one year left “It’s kind of sad. Technically I should be a sophomore probably because I only played NCAA basketball for two years now. It’s a little bit sad, but it’s part of life. You cannot keep doing something for a long time. You have to keep on moving. After this year I’m just looking to go to the next level.”

On the coaching staff “It’s amazing. Our coaching staff - we have the greatest coaching staff ever. These coaches are amazing. They treat us like their own family. We’re far away from home, but when you’re around this place and these coaches you don’t feel like you’re far away from home. You consider them as your uncles, your brothers, sometimes your fathers. That’s a big thing. We have a great relationship with our coaches. They make sure we always do the right thing on and off the floor and they have our backs no matter what.” Top Stories