Getting to Know The 2009 USA Nike Hoop Summit Team: John Wall
April 1, 2009 - Colorado Springs, Colo.
Like several of his 2009 USA Nike Hoop Summit teammates, John Wall (Word of God Academy / Raleigh, N.C.) is ranked in everybody's Top 10 for the Class of 2009. Unlike his teammates, however, the 6-1 point guard has yet to sign a National Letter of Intent or issue a verbal committment. While college basketball fans wait to hear his final decision some time this spring, USABasketball.com has circled April 9 on the calender, the day when Wall and his USA teammates report to Portland, Ore., for two days of practice before the 2009 Nike Hoop Summit. We caught up with the hot commodity for a few minutes to talk about the Nike Hoop Summit, his high school season and how he will decide where to play in the fall.
What does it feel like to be selected to this team?
It means a lot. That's a different accomplishment to play with U-S-A across your chest. I think about LeBron, Kobe and Dwyane Wade and how they played against the best players from other countries.
Who are you most looking forward to playing with?
Just about everybody. I've played with a couple of the players before, but never with all of them on the same team like this. If we play together, and I think we will, we are going to be a tough team to beat. I know the World team will be good, too, but I have confidence in us.
Did you watch the Nike Hoop Summit last year?
I did watch it last year with Tyreke (Evans) and Demar DeRozan and all those guys. It was a fun game. It seemed like good exposure, to be playing with great players against the best international guys and meeting new people.
Have you ever played international basketball before?
I have never played international basketball before, but I know there a lot of different rules. It's something I'm going to have to adjust to.
Are you looking forward to playing in the Rose Garden?
I have never played in an NBA arena before, so I am so excited to play in the Rose Garden.
How would you describe you game?
I like to get up and down the court. I can finish at the basket and score whenever I want to. I get my teammates involved, and I can play defense and run the team.
What area of your game are you most focused on improving right now?
Every position. You have to get stronger. You have to get ready for the college game because it's a different pace. It's just a different game than what it is in high school. Things you did in high school are not going to work in college. You have to make everything stronger and know that you will be mentally challenged.
What is your least favorite workout or drill?
Probably when I have to get up early in the morning, like 5:30, and go jogging.
What motivates you?
Seeing my mom have to work two or three jobs. That motivates me.
How did finish your high school season?
We did pretty good. We made it to the state championship and lost on a buzzer beater by three. I think I did everything I wanted to for my senior year, but I just failed at the last moment to win the state championship.
*Word of God lost the North Carolina Class 1A title game when United Faith's Ian Miller hit a 40-footer at the buzzer to knock off Word of God 56-53. Wall scored 11 points.
What is your favorite high school memory?
My favorite high school memory would probably be when we won the tournament at Missouri State and I was named MVP. It was just a fun event, and I was proud of the way we played.
*Wall was named MVP of the Tournament of Champions at Missouri State University. He tallied 41 points against Olympia (Fla.) in the title win.
What things are you considering as you decide on a college?
I am thinking about how I will get along with the coaches. I am going to take my visits, and see who is staying next year or going into the NBA Draft. I'm watching the tournament to see how teams or coaches change in the tournament and to see who gets stronger.
Did you watch the 2008 Olympics? What was your favorite moment?
I just like how they stuck together. When they played some tough games, like against Argentina, they stuck together. Kobe and LeBron, they took away from what they did in the NBA to be the best player on their team and they played together. They all became role players.