2013 ultra-athletic forward Aaron Gordon of the Oakland Soldiers talks to Coast 2 Coast Hoops at the Nike Fab 48 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The University of Washington leads for Gordon’s services at the moment, but he is still considering Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, and New Mexico.
Pras: Alright Pras here with PointGuardU and Coast2CoastHoops with another Soldier, Aaron Gordon, like usual, we’re following these guys around. Aaron, the first thing I notice when I watch the Soldiers is that everybody’s in the stands to come watch you play. Tell me about some of the famous people that you saw out there.
Aaron Gordon: Uh, we had Leon [Powe], uh, I mean, we had Drew Gooden. We had a few other people, we got Cali Swag District yesterday. I mean, it’s crazy, man, it’s a lot of hype, but, I mean, at the end of the day we just gotta play basketball.
Pras: So what’s that like for you, being an up and coming baller and getting to see these guys come out and watch you play.
AG: Uh, it means a lot. It actually puts a lot of pressure on. You wanna do good in front of ‘em and stuff. But, I mean, if you just go out and play your game, everything should be good and they’ll like your game, you know what I mean.
Pras: Now yesterday at the night game, you were dunking like you were angry about something. Was it just they were being physical with you or was it anything specific?
AG: No, I think if you dunk, you should dunk hard. That’s my philosophy so I try to do it every time.
Pras: Right on. Now from, in Peach Jam, you guys came up just a little short. I know everyone really wants to win this thing to make up for it. So what kind of changes have you made, if anything, from a week and a half ago?
AG: Uh, we just gotta lock up on D more, you know what I mean. I’m, uh, picking up my defensive, uh, intensity and I guess my team will follow me on that.
Pras: Now through the first evaluation period and through the second, are there any coaches that you look up and see in the stands every single time you play that you’re noticing?
AG: Uh, I always notice [Lorenzo] Romar, uh, [John] Calipari, and I always notice Johnny Dawkins, but, uh, he’s not here right now.
Pras: Now tell me a little bit about Coach Romar and the Husky program. We know it’s one of your favorites. Sort of what appeals to you most about the program over there?
AG: I mean, Romar’s a great dude, you know what I mean. He’s true to his word, uh, I mean, I like where it’s at. It’s close to home. It’s on the west coast. Uh, I mean the offensive tempo, defensive principle, I like everything about it.
Pras: Now, growing up were you a Huskies fan, or who did you cheer for in college usually?
AG: Um, I watched the NBA, I didn’t even really watch college when I was younger.
Pras: Ok, right on. So what parts of your game are you trying to showcase in this second evaluation period.
AG: Uh, definitely my jump shot. I know I have it, uh, I just haven’t been shooting it much, so I’m just gonna start shooting it more and, uh, show everybody that I have it.
Pras: Any new offers or schools in the mix since last time we talked to you?
AG: Uh, yeah. Kentucky’s in the mix. They gave me a call and, uh, I mean, it’s Kentucky so I gotta be interested in it, you know what I mean.
Pras: Coach Cal, or an assistant, or both?
AG: Calipari called my house.
Pras: And I assume you like that they get players to the league if you’re an NBA fan?
AG: Yeah, it’s definitely a league factory so, uh, that gives it a definite, uh, definite plus.
Pras: And did he have time to tell you anything about how he thinks you’d fit in with the roster that he’s building?
AG: Uh, he said, uh, at the 4-man, and, I mean, that’s ok with me, but I’m really looking to be a perimeter player in the, in the future.
Pras: So you’re, like in college, you’d like to play at the 3? Be able to move—
AG: Yeah, I definitely want to play 3.
Pras: So if you wanna be a 3 in college, what do you think you need to do over this next year and a half ?
AG: Uh, basically I just need to get my jump shot wet. That’s all need to do for me to be a 3.
Pras: You feel like the handles are there?
AG: Yeah, the handles have been there, ‘cause I grew up as a point guard and just shot up, so I mean, handles are there. Um, I mean, I could, uh, work, just jump shot man. Coming off screens, coming off fades. I mean, once I get that going, I think everything else will open up.
Pras: Great, can’t let you go without an Arizona question or two, so any plans to make it down to Tucson and see the campus?
AG: Ummm, that’s kind of awhile from now. Uh, I haven’t done any of my, uh, official visits so once I get up to that time, I’ll probably think about going down there.
Pras: But odds are good they’ll get you down there?
AG: Yeah definitely, I’ll probably check it out.
Pras: Cool man, well thanks for talking to us.