Jabril Trawick Q+A
The Georgetown-signed guard talks to SLAMonline.
by Cris Jones | @HeirJones
Abington Friends High School senior Jabril Trawick took time out of his busy schedule recently to answer some questions for SLAMonline. Trawick, a West Philadelphia native, is ranked as the No. 1 shooting guard from Pennsylvania in ESPN‘s 2011 recruiting class.
The future Hoya received 38 scholarship offers but chose to play for Coach John Thompson III down in the District of Columbia. Fans of the Big East should prepare to see the “griminess”–as he puts it–in Trawick’s game starting next season. Trawick talks future, his hometown Sixers, LeBron James, and even life after college.
After suffering a shocking early exit in this year’s NCAA Men’s Championship Tournament, Hoya nation will undoubtedly welcome a player of Trawick’s caliber with open arms. Before you see him don the blue and gray, get to know him here.
SLAM: Was your final high school basketball season disappointing with the way that it turned out?
Jabril Trawick: It was disappointing in the way that we could have beat every team that we played—so the games that we didn’t win was kind of a disappointment, but not in the season. We played hard, a lot of people expected us to get blown out because we were undersized, and we didn’t have a lot of depth. And our competition was some of the top teams in the state, we’d have them on the ropes, but then we’d mess up and end up losing by like 3. But we weren’t really disappointed.
SLAM: What made you want to leave the state of Pennsylvania and play for Georgetown?
JT: I always told myself that I wanted to get away, but more so a place down south, where it was always hot, so I wanted to go to a Florida school. But going through the process and learning more about the school, pipelines, connections and education. DC’s a ways–-but it’s not too far, and my family can always come see me play. And if I ever wanted to go home, its not too far away. I’m going to a good city, with a good social life.
SLAM: Do you think you fit in well with Coach Thompson’s style of play?
JT: When I first told people I was going to Gtown, some people said “oh, Georgetown runs that Princeton offense, you ain’t gonna like that. You might not fit in because you like to run.” But if you watch the games, they run-and-gun as well, but just in the half court set. But they’re more disciplined in a way that they find the open shooters. Coach said he’d like me to run back up point sometimes, with my ability to drive the lane, draw defenders and kick to open shooters–-I think I’ll fit in well.
SLAM: So did coach say you would be getting some minutes next year?
JT: It’s always up to me, depending on the work I put in when I get down there. He definitely said I have the possibility to get playing time next year.
SLAM: What are some things you have to improve upon entering the next level?
JT: Working on my mindset and shooting the mid-range more, because it’s not like I can’t shoot it. Sometimes I get so caught up attacking the basket that I forget about the mid-range game and end up forcing a layup. Improving my perimeter game as well.
SLAM: You ready for the Big East battles night in and night out?
JT: Yeah, I’m built for that. I was never one to back down on the court. Where I come from, it’s tough. So I’m not expecting a free lunch or anything like that.
SLAM: Yeah, would you attribute your skills to growing up in Philly?
JT: Yeah. Before when I was real little, before the growth spurts, I used to play at this court across the street from my house with a lot of older dudes. I was probably one of the youngest dudes out there, but I always played up. You know how older dudes are when you play street ball–they think they can foul you or whatever, and it not be a problem. So I learned how to deal with that, and it just helped separate me from most kids my age. It more so helped me with my toughness and aggressiveness, and as I got older I developed my basketball IQ. But growing up in Philly definitely helped me with the griminess in my game.
SLAM: What have you and the other 2011 Georgetown commits talked about?
JT: We text each other, or we’ll hit each other up on Twitter, but I mean most of the conversation we have is “we have to turn it up next year, and put in hard work.” We’re all excited to play with each other and be a part of the program next year.
SLAM: To whom would you compare your game?
JT: The way I can get to the rim, I’d say DWade. Because he’s strong, can take a lot of guys off the dribble. But LeBron James is my favorite player.
SLAM: So you’re definitely Team LeBron, not Team Kobe?
JT: Nah, I hate Kobe. [Laughs] My boy’s struggling right now, but I’m ride or die. They got a tough schedule, so its either gonna make or break them. But eventually, when playoff time rolls around it should be a different situation.
SLAM: So wait, are you a Sixers’ fan or a Heat fan?
JT: I’m a Sixers’ fan, but since DWade and LeBron are my favorite players, Derrick Rose as well. So I’m a Heat fan as well, since two of my favorite players are on the same team, but I’m a ride or die fan for the Sixers, regardless of record.
SLAM: Yeah, they’ve been playing well lately.
JT: Yup, real well. Doug Collins is doing a great job. What a lot of people don’t realize is that the Sixers have a lot of depth. Even though they don’t have superstars, they have one of the best benches in the NBA. Thaddeus Young is my mentor, he gives me a lot of advice…
SLAM: And Lou (Williams), right? How’d you all meet?
JT: Yeah. My old head, Rahim Thompson, runs The Chosen League in Philly. Thad and them do a lot of stuff with the league, and Rahim told him where I was going to school. I met Thad at Sixers camp too, because I worked at Sixers’ camp, and he came as a guest speaker. But through Rahim he just hit me up to give me advice, because he went through the college process as well.
SLAM: What do you hope to accomplish on the court in your years as a Hoya, individually and team-wise?
JT: Freshman year, I just want to be able to come in and help the team as much as I can–and just be one of the best players. I feel like I’ll be able to help the team out a lot, with things they don’t have right now, or won’t have next year. With the players leaving (Austin Freeman, Chris Wright) there won’t be many players that can break guys down off the dribble.
SLAM: You have Wells Fargo Center dreams?
JT: Getting to the pros is everyone’s dream. I’d like to play professionally in Philly, New York, Chicago, Miami or Washington D.C. one day.
SLAM: No love for the small markets?
JT: [Laughs] I don’t think I want to go to the west coast–or cities like Milwaukee or Indiana. I want to play in some place like Madison Square.
SLAM: Everyone has that reason why they grind so hard, what’s your motivation?
JT: A lot of my family members have been supporting me, and putting a lot into me, so I feel like I came this far, I got to show them that its all been worth it. I know everybody wants to see me do well, and go far, and I don’t want to be a bust, ya know? So I’m trying to get better so that won’t happen.
SLAM: Check out Howard’s homecoming when you get down to D.C., by the way.
JT: You already know. [Laughs]