Sept. 9, 2008
Indiana junior Jeremiah Rivers, a transfer from Georgetown, sat down with IUHoosiers.com to talk about a wide range of topics from why he chose the number he did to what he is looking forward to this year. Rivers will have to sit out the 2008-09 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules.
What is your favorite game/shot/moment playing basketball?
"I wouldn't say there is one in particular that sticks out, but one that comes to mind right now is in ninth grade when I hit a game-winning shot from the sideline to put us over the hump. In college against North Carolina in the Elite Eight game, I hit some big free throws that helped propel us to overtime and eventually to win that game."
What has been the biggest adjustment you have had to make since joining the Indiana basketball program?
"I'd say adjusting to the whole Indiana culture and the passion the fans have for basketball. I think the every school has a passion for sports, particularly the dominant sport at that school. But here the culture is a whole different lifestyle, in a very good way."
If had to list one person/place/thing that led you to Indiana, who would it be?
"Coach Crean drew me here. Out of all the choices or possibilities I had, I think he was ultimately the one that propelled my decision to come to Indiana, because of the intensity that he brings to the game of basketball."
Before joining the Indiana basketball program, what was one word that came to mind when some one said Indiana basketball?
What are you looking forward to the most going into this year?
"Winning tradition, Bob Knight, Isiah Thomas, Randy Wittman and some of the other great players that have played here. Even some of the newer guys...I've played against Bracey Wright a few times and I like his game and he is a godo guy and I've been able to meet Eric (Gordon) and D.J. (White) a little bit. So the past and present players are what I think of when I think of Indiana basketball."
"Personally, I'm looking forward to improving my basketball game and getting better so next year I can lead this team to win more games, which I will. And from the team perspective, I think this is a great opportunity for us to quickly get experience and mature as a team. We are young and we are going to have to grow up quick."
What do you enjoy doing when you are not playing basketball?
"I'm a real big movie fanatic. I like to watch DVDs and play some video games and I make my own music too. I've got a program on my computer that I can make music with and just recently got into reading. I haven't read too many books yet but one of my favorites so far has been Love of the Game by Michael Jordan."
If you were not playing basketball, is there another sport you thing you could play at the collegiate level?
"Honestly, I think I have been blessed with the body that I have - my height, my strength and speed - I think football would definitely be one of them. I played in Texas and a little in Florida as a running back. And I think tennis and baseball too. If I decided to practice and focus on any of those three, I think I could play in college and in the pros."
Do you have any superstitions before practice or games?
"I don't have any superstitions, I just like to have a little routine before a game but nothing other than that. No black cats or anything like that. If you can play the game you can play the game, if you can't then you can't."
Why did you pick the number you did to wear at Indiana (Rivers wears #5)?
"I know Deron Williams wore it in college and Jason Kidd wears it and those are two players I think my game is similar to or would like my game to be similar to in some ways. Obviously I would like to add my own swagger when I'm playing. And all through high school I wore no. 25 because my dad (Doc Rivers) wore that and I looked up to my dad. But then in college, I felt it was time to break away and establish my own number but still keep a little bit of the Rivers in it."