Q and A With D.J. White
June 27, 2007
Indiana University All-Big Ten forward D.J. White sat down with IUHoosiers.com to talk about what he and the rest of the men's basketball team are doing at this point of the summer.
White is one of 30 of the nation's top collegiate basketball players who have accepted invitations to participate in the July 12-14 USA Basketball Men's Pan American Games Team Trials that will be held at Haverford College (Pa.). The Trials will be used to select the finalists for the USA Basketball Pan American Games squad that will look to capture gold at the 2007 Pan American Games that are being held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 13-29.
The Tuscaloosa, Alabama native was a second-team All-Big Ten performer who averaged 13.8 points and 7.3 rebounds last season as a junior.
What is the typical summer day like for you?
"I wake and eat a little breakfast. Then I come to Assembly Hall and to workout on the court by myself for 45 minutes to an hour. After that, I go lift weights and then go to class for two and a half hours. I come back to the gym and myself and one of my teammates, maybe Armon, get up some jump shots for another hour and then we play together for another hour and a half."
What is the best thing, in your mind, about being a basketball player at Indiana University?
"The best thing is being with my teammates. We have a lot of guys from different places and a lot of different personalities on the team. It is just fun being with these guys on a daily basis and all the things we go through are just fun and that's a big part of it."
When you host a recruit, what do you tell them that would make them want to come play basketball here at IU?
"That this is a great university, with great basketball tradition. It is a top five program in the nation. We are getting better as the years go on and Coach Sampson is taking this program places. Another thing is the fans, they are behind you 100 percent. This is basketball country. You'll never find a place or a state that loves basketball like Indiana does.
What is something that you are looking to accomplish this summer?
"Just to get into the best shape as possible. I had to play a lot of minutes last year and this year I'm going to have to do the same. So I just want to get my body into top physical condition so I can lead my team."
What do you guys do to build good team chemistry help the guys from last year mix well with the new guys coming in?
"We just try to spend as much time together as possible, whether it is at the gym or joking around or talking. We are letting the new guys know how it is and showing them the ropes. We have fun at night, doing various activities like cooking out or just sitting at one another's apartment talking and having fun."
What was your favorite moment from the 2006-07 season?
"Probably the NCAA Tournament. Up until that first game, we just had fun, there was no worry. We were ready to play. We were out in Sacramento, relaxed. We practiced and walked around and saw the city. We just had fun. We went out and won the first game and we relaxed. Then we went into the second game, but that was an experience that I'll never forget."
Is that experience something you can build on and remember for the coming year?
"That is something we have to build on. That is something I remember. It is something everyone on that team remembers, how fun it is to be in the NCAA Tournament with the whole world watching. Everybody wants to be in that position again."
When you are done playing basketball, what do hope to be able to do with your degree?
"I will graduate in General Studies with a double minor in Criminal Justice and African American Studies. I haven't really thought too far into the future. I have always wanted to be a sports agent and own my own business. My family also owns a lot of land down where I'm from, so maybe I'll want to do something with that, like try to bring some new and exciting things to the area where I'm from, if I'm fortunate enough to be able to do that one day."
How are you preparing yourself to move on to the next level in basketball?
"I need to work on my body. When last year ended, I weighed 260 and I want to get to 245. Right now I am at 250 and my body has gotten stronger and I have been lifting three days a week. I need to work on foot speed and jumping ablility and just tighten up my overall skills. I have been blessed from the man above to have the skills that I possess right now and now I just have to work on them and get them better."
Talk about your upcoming experience at the Pan Am Tryouts and the opportunity to hopefully make that team.
"It's going to be a great experience to be able to compete against some
of the best players in the country. It is a dream of mine to represent
my country with the 21 and under team. I hope I make the team. It
would be a dream come true to represent my country and win a gold medal.
The team hasn't won a gold medal in four or five years, so it would be
good to be a part of that team to try to do that."
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