What drew you to Virginia coming out of high school in Milwaukee?
I think the coaches and a new environment drove me and I think my passion for the game wanted to be here, and start somewhere I could be successful.
How different is the level of play in college as compared to high school?
I think just since the injury it has been a major adjustment just for me being back. The pace of the game, how fast it is, how much bigger players are, just a bigger and faster game all around.
Did sitting the first 8-10 games with an injury in fall help you see some things differently and adjust to the college game?
Yeah, definitely. I think it helped me prepare for what I was coming into. It was just a little setback, so I think it helped me prepare and continue my attitude and just be able to get through adversity.
How would you describe your game?
I think my biggest game is pushing the ball and scoring. And I think this year I have run a lot too, to play more D and stop the ball in transition and stop the guards. So, I think just basically bringing offense and defense to the team. I think when I’m on, everybody else is contributing.
Watching you, it seems like you really look to drive the lane. What does it take to finish through contact and is that something you feel is a major part of your game?
When we watch film and stuff like that, coach is always telling me ‘if you have an opening and you think you’ve got it, just go.’
I mean with the contact, it is a contact sport, so that’s going to come regardless. I just know if I go to the basket, I’m either scoring or I’m going to get fouled. So, that is really what drives me and going to the basket is just easy points.
What were your emotions like the first game back after the injury?
Well, I didn’t expect to play the first game, that Rutgers game, but I think once I entered and I got the steal, I was excited. It was crazy, like the stuff I dreamed of. So, I think knowing I played my first college game, it fired me up to continue to grow and keep getting better each game.
Coming from Milwaukee, what have you missed about home?
I really just would say I miss my family. My mom just came to the Louisville game, so I was so happy, that was a blessing right there. But I think just mostly my family. I mean a lot of people don’t make it out of there, so I think I’m truly blessed to be here in a new environment and just to keep preparing myself to get better.
How important has your family been to you in terms of playing basketball?
It’s been a very big part. That’s what drives me, I really want to make it for my family. There have been days where I wanted to give up but my mom and my twin brother, would say ‘you know you’ve got it and you haven’t came this far for no reason.’ So, I think they definitely drive me to another level.
Having played in 12 games now, where are you looking to improve personally?
Probably consistency. I think me being consistent will help the team more. My teammates tell me ‘keep driving’ or ‘do this’ and so I think that is also key, just listening, keep getting better and my attitude.