Catching Up With Will Blalock
by. Ryan Kilian
Will Blalock is one of the most talented and exciting point guards ever to come out of Boston. Blalock, starred for East Boston High School, graduated from Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg and honed his game on the summer circuit with BABC. After high school Blalock attended Iowa State University. He played for the Cyclones in the Big 12 from 2003 to 2006 before declaring for the NBA Draft after his junior year.
Blalock was selected by the Detroit Pistons in the second round of the 2006 NBA Draft. Blalock played the entire 2006-2007 season before beginning his recent basketball journey that has taken him all over Europe, the NBDL and most recently to Australia.
We caught up with Blalock this week as the former New England Prep Star discussed high school hoops and his current journey.
Q: How is everything going for you both personally and professionally?
WB: Things are going pretty well for me both on and off the court. I have been to different countries over the last four years and seen how the great game of basketball is much different in many parts of the world.
For example, you are honored in the NBA for being the guy who can score 30 points and in Europe if you score 10 points and your team still wins you are put on the same platform because it is very team oriented in Europe.
Personally, after going through a stroke in 2008 that had me really not knowing where my career was going next or if I would even have a career again, I was a bit disjointed. After being healthy and fully recovered now and doing the things that got me drafted in 2006 again, I feel like the sky is the limit if I get the right opportunity to showcase my abilities.
Q: How has your season gone in Australia? How is the competition and what are the differences between the states and “Down Under”?
WB: My Season in Australia was very solid. My team finished in second place during the regular season but unfortunately we lost in the final 4 in the playoffs. The league as a whole is very balanced. Each team has one or more Australian National team players on it as well as two American Imports.
Q: What were your fondest memories of playing high school, summer and prep school basketball?
WB: My most memorable image that still sticks with me from high school and AAU is when I played with BABC and we won the AAU nationals in Detroit MI. We pretty much beat everyone by 20 points or more all the way through the final four.
Q: Looking back at your high school experience can you talk about your recruiting process? How did you decide on Iowa State and who were your finalists?
WB: I attended Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg my senior year and that experience was a lot different. Being away from home was the best decision for me to get mentally prepared for college life especially if I wanted to go somewhere far away. This was the main reason I wanted to attend Iowa State University. Also, Wayne Morgan was the assistant coach at the time and once he was selected as the head coach it was a done deal because of the relationship we built throughout the recruiting process. I also had offers from UConn, Pittsburgh, East Carolina and Memphis among others.
Q: What piece of advice could you give a high school player going through the recruiting process and deciding to choose a school?
WB: My advice for student athletes going through the process is to simply find a school you like basketball and education wise and figure out what school fits your abilities. If you are an athlete who likes to play up tempo you might not want to go to a school where the coach wants to use up the whole 35 second shot clock.
Q: What other advice could you lend a high school student in terms of schooling? School choices? Academics etc?
Once you are on campus you have to really be head strong on and off the court. You will be around thousands of students but not all of them are easily recognizable like ball players. You will always have eyes on you so it is very important to act accordingly when you are around campus because not only do you represent your family and yourself but you represent that particular university that pays for your education.
Being a student athlete is like having a tough full time job. At times it can be very stressful but keep in mind that the main goal is education first then Basketball because if you cannot compete in the class room it does not matter if you are the next LeBron James you CAN'T PLAY!!
photo credit: Scott Mussell - Icon SMI
Q: What are your plans for the summer and for the upcoming future.
WB: I come home on Friday (May 6th). I will be home enjoying family and preparing myself for the next step in my journey. I am never too sure on where I will end up next until I get a call from my agent and then I usually have options. I will sit down with my family and choose the next opportunity accordingly. It does not come without me preparing so I will be home all summer getting ready and working out my little brother, Shabazz Napier, who just won a National Championship with UConn.
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