Young Ballers: Jesse Pistokache
Bringing you some of the best young talent in the country in partnership with lebronjames.com.
As part of our new partnership with LeBron James and the “Young Ballers” section of his website, we introduce to you Jesse Pistokache, a 15 year old pg out of Mission, TX. Check out this q+a we did with Jesse, and if you want to learn more about him, visit his page on Bron’s site and watch the YouTube clip at the bottom of the post.
by David Spahn
SLAM: When did you first start playing basketball? Who first introduced you to basketball?
Jesse Pistokache: The first time I ever picked up a basketball was in 2nd grade when my mom signed my brother and I up for a basketball camp at a local university. The person that introduced me to basketball was my older brother Joaquin.
SLAM: What position do you play? What do you like about playing basketball?
JP: I play the point guard/ shooting guard position, but if the coach needs me to play any other position I can do that just as well. I love the competitiveness, intensity, and tempo of the game.
SLAM: What’s your workout schedule like? How often do you spend time in the gym?
JP: I often wake up at 5 a.m. to hit the court and work on ball handling, shooting, passing, and defensive drills. After school I hit the gym hard again and work on speed, strength, plyometrics, footwork, and conditioning. Overall I spend about 4 hours in the gym a day.
SLAM: What is your favorite free-time activity besides basketball?
JP: Since I don’t have much free time, I usually just enjoy hanging out with friends and family.
SLAM: How do you balance your schoolwork and sports?
JP: My parents always taught me that school comes before sports, so I like to think of myself as a student-athlete. I usually try to finish up my schoolwork during any free time in school or as soon as I get home, then I hit the gym.
SLAM: What is your favorite subject in school?
JP: Math, I’ve always enjoyed it.
SLAM: What is one thing that most people don’t know about you?
JP: I’m Native American from an Oklahoma tribe called the Choctaw and my last name Pistokache means “wake up and see”in the Choctaw language.
SLAM: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
JP: I would love to go to Paris, because I’ve always liked the culture of the city.
SLAM: What people have helped you the most in your basketball career so far?
JP: Many people have helped me so much in basketball and I’m grateful for all them, such as: Coach Scott Pospichal, Coach Jeff Webster, Coach Antonio McKenzie, Coach Andy Saenz, Coach Steve Trauber, Coach Cedric ward, Allen Holcomb, Kwan Johnson, David Sykes, Coach Eddie Upchurch, Coach David Keith, Ryan Richardson, Coach Rick Rodriguez, Coach Rios, and many others I’m sure I forgot to mention. Without them mentoring me and helping me, I wouldn’t be the player that I am today.
SLAM: Besides playing professional basketball, what other careers interest you?
JP: If I’m not playing professional basketball, I’m always going to want to be around the game, so basketball-specific training or even coaching interests me.
SLAM: Do you play any other sports besides basketball?
JP: No, all my focus is on basketball.
SLAM: If you could describe yourself in one sentence, what would it be?
JP: A guy who’s been really blessed by the Lord and appreciative for all the great things that have came into his life.
SLAM: What words of advice would you give to players younger than yourself?
JP: Stay focused on your dreams. Anything you put your mind to you can accomplish, and don’t let all the hype get to you because there’s always someone out there working to take your spot.
SLAM: If you had to ask LeBron one question, what would it be?
JP: What workouts he does and what mentality does he bring to each game.
SLAM: Do you think you could beat LeBron in NBA 2k11?
JP: Yeah, I think I could probably come out with a win against him.
Dave Spahn is a former senior writer for Illinoishsbasketball.com. Besides SLAM and SLAMonline, he now does work for Chicagohoops.com, focusing on scouting and breaking high school recruiting news. Follow him on Twitter @davespahn.