That's Kal Bay's answer to the question, how much do you work on your game?
That's impressive, but it's not completely accurate. That's the amount of time, not including practice at Marcos de Niza high school, that Kal Bay puts in with a personal trainer to improve his game.
"20 minutes on ball handling, ten on passing, then two hours on shooting and defense, an hour on reaction to defenses and offenses, and recently I've added a half hour of lifting weights to the end of the workout. I need to get stronger."
Okay. That's after practice.
"It's a lot of work, but it's the best way for me to be a better player."
Kenny Drake is Kal's trainer. Kenny Drake has a hard job. He's in charge, along with the coaching staff at Marcos de Niza, of taking one of the best basketball players in the state of Arizona, and helping him live up to expectations. These aren't any old expectations. This is not just going to state, or being real, real good. This is a kid who as a freshman started on the Varsity and was All Region. This is a kid who's been talked about since he was in the 7th grade. This is that kid who everyone looks at and says, "He's got it, he's special."
Thus the trainer. "Discipline. That's the thing Kenny has helped me with the most. I've always been ready to work, Kenny has taught me to push myself as much as I can, and do it every day."
Kal is a point guard. The point guard, traditionally, is the player who is mature, intelligent, runs the team and is rock steady. Freshman, traditionally, are not mature, they do not always play with intelligence, and they often wilt in the face of pressure. Kal is not traditional. Kal is the complete package.
And Kal knows what he's doing. "Winning is always the ultimate goal. I'll get my points, I'll get my numbers, but I have a team around me, and I can't win without them. Duboise (Williams) is a great player. I don't need him to score, he doesn't need me to score, but we need each other to win."
Twenty-five points, ten assists, five rebounds, two or three steals. That is what Kal Bay considers a solid game. Those are the numbers Kal intends on averaging. Those numbers are gaudy.
"I'm learning all the time. I look at other point guards in the state, and I see what they do, and I try to add those things to my game. T.J. Benson sees the floor so well, pushes the ball so well. Kenny Wittis is so confident, he'll take the shot without hesitation, and Stas from Gilbert, his defensive intensity is huge, he makes his whole team better."
"I have to work everyday. I'm ready to work everyday. And my Mom and Dad have helped so much. They're behind me 100%, they do anything for me. I certainly couldn't do as much as I do without their help. Hopefully, if I accomplish what I want to accomplish, I'll be able to totally pay them back."
But Kal, what is it that you hope to accomplish?
"I want to go to North Carolina, and then I want to play in the NBA."
He says this matter of factly. Like an open jumper, there is no hesitation. No doubt. Just something on a "to do" list that he'll get to as soon as he can. He's worked for everything so far, he'll just keep working until he accomplishes what's next. It's unnerving, seeing a high school sophomore who's more together than the person interviewing him is, even when the person interviewing him is his senior by 12 years or so.
"I am prepared for challenges. I've had to earn respect from the beginning. Last year, I was a freshman, nobody really knew who I was, I had to prove to the guys on my team that I belonged there, and then I had to prove it to other teams every game."
These are not the words of someone who wilts in the face of pressure. Kal, Duboise is a senior, he's proven over time how good a player he is, who takes the last shot in a game?
"If I have the ball, its me. The pressure doesn't get to me."
Players blossom, players are phenoms, players develop. These things happen over the course of time. But every once in awhile a player steps on the court ready. Ready to play, ready to make a difference, ready to take that shot. Kal Bay is that type of player. He'll be a sophomore at Marcos de Niza. In two years some believe he'll be the best player in the state of Arizona. Many believe this kid is one of the best point guards in the state right now. A sophomore. Is this pure talent? We've seen these phenoms before, kids who come up to the varsity as freshman, ride their talent as far as it will go, only to be after thoughts by their senior year. Kal Bay is out to be different. He's out to prove the nay sayers wrong. He's out to be the best sophomore, the best junior, the best senior, the best player in the state. "When I step on the court, I believe I'm better than anybody. If you want to prove me wrong, you have to do it on the court." Plenty will get that opportunity, good luck to them.