Catching Up with Derek Elston
July 5, 2014
Bloomington, Indiana - Former Hoosier Derek Elston was in town this month to work both sessions of the Tom Crean Instruction and Competition Camp. He played this last season in Malta and talked about his pro career, his IU experience, his relationship with his former teammate and what the future might hold for the Tipton native.
How was your first year overseas and what was Malta like?
"Well my first year went better than expected, I told my coaches going over there, I'm going to give myself two or three months and if my knee is bothering me then I'm just going to hang it up. And you know, I went over there I got a personal trainer and we worked out the entire time, trying to get strength in my hips, my flexibility better and I ended up playing 40 minutes a game for an entire season, so it went better than expected. But as far as basketball wise, you know I talked to Jordan (Hulls), and wanted to see how it was like with other overseas guys, and apparently I lived the life. I'd go...I had two-a-days every day, but after that, I could go out on the beach, you know swim in the sea, so I practically lived the life over there."
What are your plans for the next year?
"Right now, I'm just playing the waiting game. I've heard from a couple teams since I've been back. I just got off the phone this morning actually, so I'm waiting to hear different offers and if nothing comes up that I like then I realize that I lived out my dream. I can say that I was a professional basketball player.
Talk about the bond between the guys that you played with here, would it be accurate to say that you guys really treasured the time you had at IU?
"Oh absolutely, When I was overseas I talked to those guys all the time. Honestly, Cody and Vic are great. I was on the phone with those guys maybe more than I thought ever possible. Guys checked up on each other, I checked up on them. And it was great, I mean our bonds stayed true as soon as I got back, you know Cody said `where you at", you know he wanted to know if I was in town. Vic told me to come out to his sister's graduation, like things that I never thought actually happen, did. And that just goes to show that the time we really had here together, was absolutely amazing."
On why IU was such a great fit for you and what do you take away from Coach Crean and the experiences you went through.
"I think it was a great fit for me. Coach Crean knew that we were bringing in guys that were going to rebuild this program. We knew that it was going to be tough, we knew that coming in. But we had guys around who were going to take criticism well, you know there were going to be tough days and Coach Crean was going to get the best out of us. We knew and he knew that he had guys that he could make better and we were just going to play as hard as we could. And that's why I came, I knew that there were guys just like me around here, that we were wanting to do exactly what everybody wanted and that was to bring Indiana back."
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