June 14, 2013
James Ennis, the Big West MVP and NBA draft prospect, has been crisscrossing the country the last few weeks, working out for different NBA teams. He took some time out of his busy schedule to catch up with LongBeachState.com and share his experiences since leaving Long Beach State.
How have your workouts been going with the NBA teams?
My workouts have been going well. It's been a lot of fun to play with some of the best players and compete at a high level.
What do the teams have you do at the workouts?
The workouts are all different from team to team. They watch you to see if you are a good teammate on the court, if you can compete, play defense and shoot the ball. They are also looking at your basketball IQ and if you fit their style of play.
How many teams have you done workouts with and how many teams do you still have to meet with?
I have done 10 workouts so far and have six left, so 16 total.
How do you think your senior season at Long Beach State helped you prepare for the NBA workouts?
I think it really helped me because I was able to compete at a high level each and every day. I was able to work on talking on defense, high hand and close-outs, and other situations on the court. The weight lifting helped a lot and I think my mental toughness improved.
Do you have a favorite team you worked out for? Or maybe a favorite city you have visited?
My favorite team I have worked out for is the Lakers because I'm such a huge Kobe Bryant fan. I actually got the chance to meet him when I was there. I also really enjoyed visiting New York City. It was really nice and I enjoyed my time there.
Do you know what your plans are for draft night?
I really don't know just yet. I know I will be with my family watching. My birthday is also on July 1 so I might do a combo celebration then.
What are you expecting during the draft?
I just hope to have my name called. If not, then I will continue working hard to reach my dream. I leave it up to God; wherever he wants me to go I will go.
If drafted, you will be LBSU's first player chosen since 1998. What does that mean to you?
It would be a blessing and an honor if I'm drafted. It will be a great opportunity to once again put Long Beach on the map. I have worked hard my whole life and I'm glad it's paying off. It goes to show you that with hard work and determination anyone can make their dreams come true, even without going to a big time basketball school like North Carolina or Louisville.
What are some pieces of advice people have shared as you prepare for the draft?
Mainly to just stay focused and don't worry about where the mock drafts have you picked to go. People will tell you what you want to hear, but you need to continue to work hard and God will guide you. Anything can happen!!
The NBA Draft will take place on Thursday, June 27.
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