10/10 With The Professor
A chat with the streetball legend.
by Drey Wingate / @ProStatus85
Alright y’all, class is in session. The Professor is here, literally. So take out your paper and writing utensils, and allow yourself to get schooled for a minute. Grayson Boucher has been a student of the game his whole life. Streetball or not, his ball handling skills—not including his pure jump shot and stifling court vision— are worth taking notes on. Those who have taken their chances against him I’m sure have the first note written down as: DON’T REACH. Ever since the little dude from Oregon came on the scene years ago after earning a contract with And 1, challengers started coming out of the woodworks trying to see just how good this guy really is. I like to refer to those challengers as his students because I’m sure they all learned something from their experience. I’m sure anybody would after consistent killer crossovers, spin moves and everything else that comes with trying to guard a lethal point guard. Every athlete knows that there is always someone out there trying to take your spot, especially when you are at the top of your game. The Professor understands that, and that is exactly why he has not been knocked off this pedestal he has created for himself. After making his presence known on numerous blacktops and hardwood floors across the world, and more importantly creating a crazy international fan base, Boucher has expanded his horizons into helping others and even making moves in the world of film. With the Ball Up tour in full swing and the anticipated release of his movie “Ball Don’t Lie”—and a campaign for “Ball Don’t Lie” coming this fall—he sat down with SLAM for a quick 10 questions.
1. It’s been a few years since the whole And 1 era, what have you been up to off the court since then?
The Professor (Fess): Off the court I always stayed grinding trying to capitalize off the name I had built through streetball. I’ve been working on acting projects, doing ball handling clinics, filming instructional content, and building my overall brand digitally.
2. Your first movie “Ball Don’t Lie” is coming out later this year. What exactly is the film about?
Fess: It’s about a foster kid who is shown from the time he’s 15 to 18 dealing with the trials and tribulations of his world. Being in a number of group homes, dealing with a rough past and trying to provide for the people he cares for. All while trying to succeed in high school basketball and eventually play in college.
3. Was it different showcasing your skills on a movie set from being in the streets or in an arena?
Fess: Well there’s a bunch of differences but I think the main difference is that on set you get more than one shot to perfect whatever it is your shooting. When you’re in a game you don’t get any second chances to perfect the end result. Although I will say a lot of the basketball stuff we shot was real game stuff, no script and no choreography. Which will hold true to the hoopers who like to see authentic basketball in movies. Fans will love that about it.
4. What are the main differences between Grayson and The Professor?
Fess: I get asked this question quite a bit and I always say the same answer: no difference at all.
5. How is the Ball Up movement different from your experience with And 1?
Fess: With Ball Up I feel like I’m dealing more with people who understand how to understand the true essence of what a combination of streetball and entertainment is. Ball Up is built to be more of a true sports franchise as opposed to just doing a bunch of exhibition games. With Ball Up the main entity is the streetball and the players. With And 1 the main entity was the apparel and shoes.
6. As a point guard, which players did/do you watch the most when it came to expanding your game?
Fess: When it comes to taking aspects from other players and incorporating those aspects into my game, I took from tons! [Laughs] But I would say most influential to me was Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson and Skip to My Lou (Rafer Alston).
7. What tech products are you using at the moment?
Fess: I’m Apple everything. iPhone, iPod, iPod Shuffle, MacBook Pro… you name it [laughs.]. I like how all the products are user friendly and last a long time.
8. What is your music rotation looking like?
Fess: Majority new and old Hip Hop and R&B stuff. I do have a lot of 80′s and 90′s in the mix along with some older classic stuff.
9. Who is your all-time starting five? Including streetball.
Fess: NBA – Magic at the 1, MJ at the 2, LeBron at the 3, Tim Duncan at the 4 and Shaq at the 5 (All those players in their prime, obviously).
Streetball – Myself and any 4 other players from the Ball Up Tour and I’d be good to go!
10. What do you want to be remembered for when your playing days are over?
Fess: Putting on an incredible show every time I take to the floor and giving people something to remember forever. And one to reflect inspiration on the youth and give back knowledge of the game as it was given to me.