Getting to Know The 2009 USA Nike Hoop Summit Team: Avery Bradley
March 13, 2009 - Colorado Springs, Colo.
I'm really looking forward to the game. It feels good to know that I am going to represent the USA in such a big event.
From The Sideline
'Avery is a complete player. He plays both ends of the floor. The way we describe him on the defensive end is that he is extremely disruptive. He has unbelievable quickness and aggressiveness, and he enjoys playing defense. A lot of kids at this level don't, but he thrives on it. Offensively, he's obviously an extremely talented young man. The strongest point of his game has sort of become a lost art, which is the midrange game. My most recent comparison would be to Rip Hamilton of the Detroit Pistons. Avery has an unbelievable one or two-dribble pull-up jumper. He's shot the three better for us this year, and he's really improved in that regard. He can finish because he is extremely athletic at the rim, but yet, if you were to watch him over the course of a few games, it would be his midrange game you noticed.
'I have told his mom several times what an unbelievable job she's done with Avery as a young man. He is very polite, soft-spoken, 'yes sir, no thank you,' looks you in the eye and shakes your hand. We want our guys to be pros in that regard, handling all aspects of their lives like a pro would, and that is what he does.
'They always say if your best player isn't your hardest worker, then you are going to have trouble. Well, he works extrememly hard day in and day out. He's earned everything that's come his way, and he's been a key factor in helping us achieve what we have this season.'
- Michael Peck, head coach
Who are you most looking forward to playing with?
Probably Abdul (Gaddy) because we haven't played together in a while. We used to be high school teammates, so I'm looking forward to playing with him again. I think we will still have some chemistry together.
Did you watch the Nike Hoop Summit last year?
Yes, I watched it last year. It looked like fun, and I wanted to play in it last year when I was watching.
Have you ever played international basketball before?
I played in the Nike Global Challenge, and I played in Brazil. It was tough to adjust to the international game at first because the courts are completely different, and I wasn't used to some of the rules. But I think it should be easier now that I've done it before.
Are you looking forward to playing in the Rose Garden?
I have never played in an NBA arena; I have played in a college arena, but never NBA. That will be really special. Of course my family will be there since they live like three hours from Portland.
How would you describe you game?
I play hard on both sides of the floor, and I'm hard worker. I am supposed to be a combo guard: a point guard, shooting guard mix, but right now I'm playing more of a point guard.
What area of your game are you most focused on improving?
I want to improve my skills at the point guard position, so that I'm ready for the next level. I am working on my ball handling and floor leadership.
What is your least favorite workout or drill?
It's hard to say. The only way I get tired of a drill is if we are doing the same drill in practice over and over again. So, I really don't have a least favorite. It could be anything we do over and over.
What motivates you?
My mom. She is a hard worker just like I am. I think about how hard she works, and that motivates me when I need it.
You're headed into the final games of high school. How would you like to finish the season?
We finished our regular season 30-0 and now we are going to a national tournament to play for a national championship. First our goal was to be undefeated in the regular season, and we did that. Now our goal is win the national championship, and I know it's something that we can do if we stay focused.
What is your favorite high school memory?
My favorite high school memory would probably be a game I played in my 10th grade year when I scored 52 points and we won by a buzzer beater in triple-overtime. It was a regular season game, but it was amazing.
*Bradley turned in his 52-point performance as a sophomore at Bellarmine Prep (Tacoma, Wash.) against Mount Tahoma High School. It is believed to be a single-game scoring record for Bellarmine Prep.
Why did you decide to play at the University of Texas in the fall?
When I went on my official visit, I just loved it. Texas has been my dream school since I was a little kid, and I had already verbally committed before I signed. Going down there for my official visit just made me want to sign. I just loved the coaching staff and the players.
Did you watch the 2008 Olympics? What was your favorite moment?
I watched all of the games. My favorite part was probably the whole thing with Dwyane Wade, how he started getting back to his old self. He is one of my favorite players, so it was good to see him play so hard and so well.