What are your first basketball memories?
The first time I played a real game, I was 8 years old. My team was the Capital Heights Knights. It was a team with the Boys & Girls Club. I scored five or six points, and it was real fun for me. I was on a high horse then, and I think that’s really when my love for the game started.
Were you a big sneaker guy?
I was a big sneaker fan growing up. Me and my friends never slept out to get shoes, though. We were too young to do that. But we always wanted to try out the new shoes and we’d go out to see what the new shoes were. My favorite shoe when I was younger was the Flightposite. They had them in gold, all black, all different colors.
Did you play basketball 24/7?
My life was surrounded by school, then basketball. I spent most of my time around the game and I kind of loved it from the beginning. Playing in the right shoes was a big part for me in staying healthy. Even as a young player I knew what it meant to stay healthy. It’s something I paid attention to when I was younger and still do to this day. I was a gym rat, always stayed in the gym. I knew it would make me one of the better players and hopefully it will still help.
When did you think about this as a potential career?
I never thought I could be a pro; I never thought too far in the future. But as time went on and I continued to work, when my chance came, I had to take it. After my first year in college, it hit me, I might be able to play in the League one day. I got the chance when I was picked second in last year’s Draft.
How do you find living on the West Coast?
Seattle, it’s different from where I’m from, but I like it a lot out here. It’s very relaxing and laid back. It’s just like the kind of person I am, and it fits my personality real well. The people and fans are great out here. It’s nice to play for real fans and a great team. I live with my two cousins and my mom to keep me company and help me out throughout my first season.
Have you been involved in making the Air Flight Skool?
I’ve been very involved, telling them what kind of shoe I think people would like. People my age still buy a lot of shoes, so I think if I can tell what people like, they’ll put it in the shoes. As for the overall process, it’s a group effort with every aspect of the shoe. They’ve been helping me a lot, coming to my house, following me in my everyday life, incorporating that all into my shoe.
What makes the Air Flight Skool so special?
When I was younger, I couldn’t afford expensive shoes. And I thought, if Nike puts this out for me, hopefully everyone would like them and want to buy them. As far as making them affordable, that’s something I always wanted to do. I wanted this to be a shoe that everyone could buy.
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