Having a very impressive Summer League Derrick Caracter is back at IMG for short period of time before going back to 'Cali'. Why is Caracter here? To relax, recuperate and get some extra work in with Coach Dan Barto. We sit down with Derrick to debrief about Summer League, his game and going to LA.
When you first got back to IMG I heard you talking about that while in Summer League 'that was the best basketball I have ever played.' Can you elaborate on that... I feel that the Summer League was the best transition for me into the NBA. I felt like I was in the right situation, everything was in order and felt good. My mind was right, my body was right and all I needed was to preform. When I was on the court I was having fun again, I felt like I was in 6th grade and the game of basketball was just fun. When your doing something that you love and it's fun who knows what can be done. I was playing at the level I knew I could play at and my goal is to continually raise the level.
What was your mentality going into Summer League...Off the Court- I told myself that I was in Las Vegas for business. My focus was to make sure that I eliminate the distractions and concentrate on my game. On the Court- Kill, Kill, Kill. To be the best on the court in my position at all times. Be the beast I know I can be.
How has training at IMG Academy under Coach Dan Barto prepared you for the Summer League...I have told everyone that if it ain't Barto, it ain't right. Working with him made the running, drills and exercises of Summer League workouts easy because my body was used to it. Also working with Corey Stenstrup in IMG Academy Athletic & Personal Development programshas increased my strength and flexibility to bang with and out maneuver some of the bigger guys I will be going up against. Coach Barto emphasized the importance of being prepared mentality, physically and letting my skills and talent show why I here.
Speaking of skills and talent, who in Summer League would you say made you work the hardest... Eric Boateng is a hard working physical guy, he definitely was in hustle mode. Talent wise I would say DeMarcus Cousins, he is a big body with the strength and speed to match. He is extremely agile for his size.
Transiting into LA ball what are you looking forward to experiencing with the Lakers...Development. I have the privilege and honor of working with some of greatest figures in basketball Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Phil Jackson and future hall of famers currently on the Lakers roster. I see LA as the best environment for a young player such as myself to be in to fully develop my game. Being a student of the game, I know there will be a lot for me to learn from the Lakers organization so I'll have my pen and paper ready.
Greg Anthony stopped by IMG Academies and he spoke with you on getting to know the veterans on the team. How did you take that advice...I respect Greg a lot and I highly value that advice. He has been there, done that and knows the game. The veterans have the knowledge, the experiences, and advice to help guide me through this new environment. Getting to know them or enjoying their company won't be hard for me anyways because I am an old man at heart. My rest and relaxation and peace and quite is non-negotiable, I got to have it. My goal is to be in this league a long time so the best way to tap into the secret of longevity in this game is to talk to vets and get their counsel on matters.
Going back to California is a trip Derrick Caracter is eagerly awaiting. Before he leaves for 'Cali' here's a taste of what he has been up to at IMG Academy.