Monday, June 22, 2009

Interview Series - Q & A with NBA hopeful, Guard Brandon Ewing

There are going to be some of you that have no clue who Brandon Ewing is, but that's ok because Brandon Ewing is used to that. Brandon is used to people sleeping on him and then proving those same people wrong later. And in this year's NBA Draft, Brandon might just be one of the biggest sleepers out there, and he is hoping he can prove the naysayers wrong again, if he can just get a chance. Let me go back a little, and fill you in on Brandon, and why I wanted to do this interview.

Being a Chicago High School Basketball fan, I've known about Brandon Ewing and his game for years now. He burst onto the scene at Julian High School, and really shined after Sean Dockery graduated. He even led his Jaguars to beat Derrick Rose's Simeon squad twice in HS, before Rose knocked out Ewing in the Public League Tournament. In his Senior Season at Julian, Ewing earned All Area, All City, and All State honors while averaging 21 pts, 8 assists, and 6 rebounds a game. The kid was putting up numbers in the hardest conference in the Chicago Public League, vs some of the best young talent to come out of Chicago in a long time, so of course I would notice him. But, despite doing all of that in HS, Ewing was always overshadowed by some of the other big named City guards like Sherron Collins, his best friend Jerel McNeal, and Suburban phenom Jon Scheyer, to name a few. After HS, Brandon had a bunch of offers, but he was pretty much set on going to DePaul University to play his College Ball. That was before Coach Dave Leitao bolted for a gig at Virginia, which threw everything off. After Coach Leitao left, Brandon had to make a tough decision on whether or not he should go play his College Ball at Wyoming University. It took Brandon a little while, but he eventually made a tough, but right decision to go play his college Ball at Wyoming. I say right, in the sense because at Wyoming, Ewing really got to showcase his skills and talent, and I really do feel things worked out for him the way they were supposed to. When it was all said and done, Brandon ended his Wyoming career being a 4 time all conference pick, 3 time MWC scoring champion, and the second leading scorer in school and conference history, finishing his career with 2,168 points. Brandon also finished as the schools all time leader in free throws made, free throw attempts, 3 pointers attempted and made, and games started, not to mention Brandon was always one of the leaders in assists in the MWC.

Not to bad for an over shadowed PG from the streets of Chicago who they said wouldn't make it right? Now with the NBA Draft literally around the corner, Brandon finds himself in a familiar situation. Most scouts and analysts say Brandon isn't a true PG, and that he is too small to be a SG in the League. Basically, Brandon has been labeled by most a "tweener", which is never good thing when talking about the Draft. But despite all of that, Brandon is optimistic he will make it through this situation and achieve his dream of playing in the NBA, because he has always made it through these types of situations throughout his life. And that is exactly the reason why I wanted to interview Brandon, and find out a little bit more about him. Check it out below...

VC: First off, tell the people out there who might not know you a little bit about yourself... How would you describe your personality on and off the court?

BE: Well to start off... I'm very quiet off the court. I'm not shy at all, it's just I tend to think a lot to myself. But on the court, I'm always talking. Some may call me a leader but the opponent may call me a motor mouth like Gary Payton. I'm very competitive in everything I do on and off the court.

VC: How did you get into Basketball growing up? Who are your role models?

BE: Many kids had father figures but surprisingly my mother and auntie put the ball in my hands, so those are the two people I look up to the most, besides my grandfather. My grandfather pretty much takes care of the whole family.

VC: Your dream is to play in the NBA, but most sites and scouts have you as a late 2nd rounder, or even going undrafted. How do you feel about that?

BE: About going in the second round, I won't be fully disappointed because it is a blessing to just be in this position. I have the respect of my peers and my peers consist of the people we all watch on TV. Also, 2nd rounders become All Stars. Look at Gilbert Arenas,Ginobli, and Carlos Boozer. I believe if you just put in the work and stay the course, it can happen. Obviously the fans want to see the big names go in the lottery and the first round. But people also want to see that steals of the Draft as well. In the end, big names are not always what's best. Ask Courtney Lee of the Magic or Aaron Brooks of the Rockets.

VC: Most people call you a combo guard, or even label you a tweener. They say you shoot too much to be a PG, and aren't big enough to be a SG. What would you tell these people? Adding to that question, how do you describe yourself basketball wise? Are you a true Pg or a Scoring Pg? Also, you played well at the Portsmouth Invitational against some really good guards that were there as well. Tell us a little about that as well...

BE: Basketball wise I'm a TRUE POINT guard and people who played with me or know basketball know I'm a Point Guard. But just like the likes of Johnny Flynn, Stephon Curry, and Derrick Rose, I was told to score for my team. If I didn't we wouldn't have won the ball games we did. I love to pass and make others better, that's what I do. I thought I showed that at the Portsmouth camp. Also, I'm bigger than a lot of people think, especially after working out with Phil (more on that late). And at 6'2", I'm taller than a lot of PG's in the League. I also got a longer wing span and jump higher than a lot of PG's in the League right now. And, I pass better and shoot better than a lot of people think. They will see all of that once they give me a shot.

VC: What teams did you have your best work outs with?

BE: My two best workouts were with the Nets and Kings with Jrue Holiday... I shot the ball really well and showed them that I was a point guard first and foremost, but that if the team needs me to score, I can.

VC: What is your daily routine right now? Who do you work out with? How has your agent Marc Fleisher, who's a pretty big agent, put you in a better position or helped you out for this Draft?

BE: I have been working out in California with great trainer Phil Handy. Phil took what I already had naturally and just enhanced it to get me ready for the next level. My agent Marc Fleischer put me in that situation and introduced me to Phil. I told Marc I wanted to work out with the best so I can be ready for everything that is about to hit me, so he set me up with Phil. I believe Phil has gotten me ready, because I'm in great shape right now.

VC: Who are some NBA players from the past you look up to?

BE: The guys I look up to and watched the most are obviously the greats like MJ and the Bulls, and all of the Hall of Famers, but my two guys are Chicago guys : Isaiah Thomas and Tim Hardaway.

VC: Name some of the Guards in the League you love to watch right now...

BE: Right now CP3, Deron, and Steve Nash are setting the bar on how to play the PG position, so I am chasing greatness just like they are.

VC: How was playing basketball at Wyoming? You moved a thousand miles after being born and raised in Chicago. That must have been a culture shock. Tell us a little bit more about your experience...

BE: Going from Chicago to Wyoming was tough my first year because in Chicago there is just so much to do and there is a lot going on. I remember on my first trip to Wyoming, all I saw was dirt roads and different animals walking around, so it was way different. But before I knew it, Wyoming became a home away from home for me. The people there love me and will always love me, so they are going to see how much I love them once I make it. I plan on giving back to the kids back there, because they were the ones who stuck with me.

VC: Were there any other schools you considered other than Wyoming?

BE: I actually committed to DePaul to play in the Big East, but with Coach leaving, I decided it wasn't for me. I took a visit to Louisville with Terrence Williams and Andre McGee and was also close to going to Marquette with my best friend Jerel McNeal, but ended up at Wyoming instead.

VC: I know you love Ball and Ball is your life, but what else do you do besides ball?

BE: I watch a lot of sports. That's another thing about me, I love Sports. In Hockey, my favorite player is Crosby. In Baseball, I love the home run hitters. I recently went to a Colorado Rockies game to check out their Shortstop Tulo in person. He is pretty good. In College Basketball my favorite player to watch this year was Johnny Flynn. In the NBA, it has to be Lebron and in Golf it's Tiger. I'm still learning Golf just so I can challenge Tiger one day. LOL.

Other than that, I also love to give back...I'm hosting a big function at the White Sox game on the 24th for the kids. I have about 50 people coming and about 30 kids to give back to. What's better than taking them to a south side Sox game?!? Sorry Cubs fans. LOL.

VC: Switching gears a little bit, what's on your Ipod right now?

BE: I listen to Jay Z, Biggie, and Pac (All legends), Lil Wayne, Drake, Lil Boosie, and Gucci Mane. Also to switch it up, some Garth Brooks and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

VC: Where are you going to be during Thursday's NBA Draft? Who will you be watching it with?

BE: All the men and women in my family will be together on that day, so I will be watching it with them. Once the name gets called, I'm going to hang out with my best friend Jerel McNeal, and celebrate.

VC: Is there anything else at all you want to tell the people out there who haven't heard about you, or are sleeping on you?

BE: In conclusion, I just want to tell everyone that I am a true point and at each level I've ever played ball at, I have excelled. I am ready for the next level and next chapter in life. Pretty much everything happens for a reason and that's how I think....I live by the words I can do all things through Christ! I have my days of being nervous but at the end of the day I know I'm a good person and very good basketball player so good things will happen to me. And, I'm very humble and thankful for everything that comes my way.

In regards to my game, I am still working to get better everyday, because if Kobe can get better, we all can. I'm not one of those guys that just want to say they are in the NBA. I want to be the best! I just want to help a team win a championship. That's all. A team just needs to trust, and take a chance, and I won't let them down!

Watching some of these players over the past year and watching them workout, I just know they can't do the things I can do on the court. My stats are up there with the "so called" best and I worked out really well, but it's out of my hands now. I just know they can't deny me forever.

VC: Thanks a ton for stopping in with us, good luck and make sure you check back with us after you are a big timer in the League playa!

Really quickly... First things first, his numbers don't lie. The kid has put up some unreal numbers, so there has to be a team out there that can use a player like him, even if it is just off the bench. I've had the opportunity to talk to Brandon a ton of times in the past few weeks, and he really is a great, charismatic, and down to earth kid. But what I like about him the most is when we talk Basketball and about his game, Brandon has this tight confidence and swagger about himself, and as we all know, you need that if you want to make it in the League. Brandon has also been working hard and overcoming obstacles his whole life, and that is why I really think he is going to make it big one day. I'm hoping the Jazz or the Spurs, who Brandon's agent has ties with, or the Nets and Kings, who he had good workouts with, will take a flyer on this kid. Good luck Brandon, do your thing player...


The Zoner said...

Nice score! Great interview. I'll be pulling for him to get the call. I remember him from when I did some Julian games for GOTW on TV.

Suman said...

Nice interview...I didn't know he is best friends with McNeal. The Cavs could use his swag.

Anonymous said...

Solid interview. I'll be rooting for him come draft time.

Anonymous said...


Ilyas said...

Solid interview Vik, hope he gets drafted. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

We are so proud of you.

mookie said...

Nice interview - good to read about guys you might not have heard about.

Sank said...

Awesome interview!! Keep up the great work. Looking forward to other interviews on your site.

VGR23 said...

Great interview VIK! I'm pulling for this kid to make it in the league now. I'm predicting the T'Wolves draft him.

Anonymous said...

Dear Vikas Chokri,

Nice interview, great job formulating the questions. Rooting for this kid, but more so rooting for the site. GO Ewing and Go DSS!

Hank in Hyde Park.

Anonymous said...

Yea I actually seen him play a few times and he's better than a lot of people out there and better than what people think...

Anonymous said...

I have seen this Ewing kid play for many years since I am from Chicago.I have also seen most of the point guard prospects in this years draft.He is better than alot of them and as good as the rest.

I wonder if he had gone to DePaul and played in a better cobvered conference if he would have been talked about with the other so called first round guards.

I hope somebody gives him a chance so we can look back at the biggest sleeper of the 2009 draft

Rosh said...

Good job Vik...great interview. DSS is awesome!

Anonymous said...

great interviw
wyoming loved you buck!
glad to have you!really helped our program

Anonymous said...

i love that kid he is awesome i live in wyoming and loved watchin him ball it up down there in laramie GO BRANDON!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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