Q+A: Scoop Jardine
The Syracuse grad talks about preparing for the NBA Draft, dating Michael Jordan’s daughter and more.
by Yaron Weitzman / @YaronWeitzman
The NBA Draft. For some Draft hopefuls, it represents the fame and riches they are about to possess. For others, it could end up symbolizing the point in their lives when “the dream” ended. And then there are those in between—who do not know what their future holds.
Which brings us to Scoop Jardine, the starting point guard who helped lead last season’s Syracuse team to the Elite Eight. For Jardine, the future is an unknown. But that doesn’t mean, as you will see below, that he can’t work to try to tip the scales in his favor.
This is actually the second time Jardine sat down with SLAMonline. Last time he spoke about where he got the name “Scoop” from and his Philadelphia background. This time, Jardine spoke about how he’s preparing for the upcoming NBA Draft, his experience at Syracuse and much more.
SLAM: What’s your typical day like now as you prepare for the upcoming Draft?
Scoop Jardine: I wake up in the morning at like 7 a.m., and I go meet with the chiropractor to basically work on stretching. We also work on my body in terms of the little injuries that I might have. That goes on for about an hour, and then at 8:30 I go and basically get more treatment, but at a different place called The Factory, which is where I do my strength and conditioning. There I work on stuff like my core strength, and just the little stuff. I know the biggest thing for me, and what scouts want to see, is the transformation in my body, so you know, I’m taking responsibility and working really hard in that area. Everyone knows I can play, it’s just about making that sacrifice with my body. So coming out here and signing with Rival Sports Group, that was one of the biggest things we wanted to do. We wanted to make a whole new me, and as far as losing weight, I’ve already lost nine pounds since the (Syracuse basketball) season ended. (Jardin is listed at 6-2, 190 pounds on the Cuse’s website.)
At 9:30, we (Jardin is working out with a group of players that includes Kansas graduate Thomas Robinson and UCLA graduate Lazeric Jones.—Ed.) start our strength and conditioning and work on speed and agility. That goes until 11, and I do it with a guy who was the fastest guy in the world, (former Olympic gold medal winner) Maurice Green. He works with us on our running form, and we do things like run in the sand.
After we finish there, we head right for the gym to work out with one of the best point guard to ever play this game, Pooh Richardson, which is great because Pooh’s from my home town (Philadelphia) and is a guy I always looked up to. We go through pick-and-rolls, get a lot of shots up, and other stuff that’s going to make my game better and ready for the NBA. And Pooh, he played in the League for 11 years, so I think he can teach me everything about being a point guard on that level.
SLAM: From a basketball standpoint, what are some of the things you’re being told are different between the college game and pro game?
SJ: Well, the pro game is much more open than college, which really fits my game better—and that’s important, getting back to playing how I play. In college, you have to play a certain style, whether it’s for your team, or for your coach. In the NBA, it’s not that you’re more worried about yourself, but it’s more about being aggressive and being a leader on and off the court. That gets guys to respect you, and he (Richardson) is telling me that the most important thing is going in there and gaining your teammate’s respect, and that comes from them seeing how hard you work and how professional you are, which are things I think I have and can bring to a team.
SLAM: You were at Syracuse for five years (Jardine redshirted his sophomore year) and graduated. Was that always the plan?
SJ: To be honest with you, yes it was. I was one of those guys. I always new I would be an NBA player, I just wasn’t sure when, and my family never put a lot of pressure on me to be one-and-done, or two-and-out or whatever. For me, the goal was always just to get better on the court as a player, and off the court as a person. You know, in school I actually had some bumps and bruises on the way that shaped me and made me better. For me, I just wanted to get better. That was always the challenge every year. Nothing was ever promised to me. I was able to get two degrees (health and wellness and sociology), I played for the No. 1 team in the country two years in a row and I graduated as the winningest player in Syracuse (basketball) history, and I was only able to do all the because of how hard I worked. Everything I got, it all came from the hard work and the sacrifices that I had to make. And you know, I still have a chance of playing in the NBA, so it wasn’t about going and being a one-and-done. We knew it was going to be a process, and if I got through it, I’d be in a way better position for the future.
SLAM: Did you want to stay in college for basketball reasons, or because you wanted to graduate?
SJ: Both. I’m the first person in my family, from both my mom and my dad’s side, to graduate, so that was definitely something I wanted to do for myself.