NBA Knicks Draft selection Trevor Ariza: Flying High
Last week, sitting next to a bunch of NBA scouts covering the Long Beach Pro Am, Trevor Ariza of the New York Knicks is flat out dismantling a Laker team en route to his 21 point performance. A scout behind me goes, “Sheesh, if I knew he could play like this we’d have taken him as our first round pick.” Simultaneously, I’m thinking to myself how could this guy not have been a McDonald’s All American pick his senior year in high school? I called up Ariza’s old Westchester high school coach five minutes later and told him how Trevor was dunking up a storm and asked him to comment about the slight Ariza incurred by the voters of the McDonald’s game, “Trevor from all the kids I coached deserved to be in that all star game, here’s a kid that can play with the best because he trains so hard.” Yeah Marlin, Ariza definitely turned some heads today. Recently, Ronnie Flores wrote an article for Cal-Hi rivals.com site that detailed a dozen other deserving California players who had been left of the “list” for the Mickey D’s game. Reggie Miller was the most high profile Californian in that story, here’s hoping that Ariza can do what Miller did in 1983 out of Riverside Poly and tear it up in the “L.”. Sitting in front of the Inglewood basketball gym I’m asking Trevor Ariza about life, basketball, and how his summer is going.
HoopsVibe.com: Nice game the other day versus the Lakers, how did you feel about that one?
Ariza: I just went out there and tried to help my team, I’ll do whatever it takes to help us be successful.
HoopsVibe.com: How does it feel to come here to Inglewood and be looked up to by so many kids?
Ariza: I love being a role model for these kids. I used to look up to Paul Pierce, Baron Davis, Jason Hart when I was coming up, it’s just time for me to be the role model that kids need..
HoopsVibe.com: I’m doing a story on your old Westchester teammate Hassan Adams and the Say No college basketball league that you played in last year, how did those games help your development as a player?
Ariza: Man, it helped me a lot, the competition is always tough and helps you get better. I was just glad to hang out and play with the guys from that league because they good people.
HoopsVibe.com: How did your team do against Hassan?
Ariza: His team was like the most talented one in the league, we were able to beat them both times, but every time we play against each other it’s going to be a battle because we respect each enough to go all out.
HoopsVibe.com: What is the one thing that you want people to know about your game?
Ariza: That I train hard, that I care about getting better by putting in the time to be my best, I want everyone to know that.
HoopsVibe.com:What would you be doing if a basketball career wasn’t in your future?
Ariza: I would definitely be working with kids as my job, it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do.
HoopsVibe.com: Thanks Trevor, keep on working hard and good luck for the rest of the summer.
Ariza: No problem, thanks for interviewing me for HoopsVibe.com.