Nike Hoop Summit Player Profile: Quinn Cook
In two summers with USA Basketball, Quinn Cook has started in all 13 games played and been his team’s assists leader throughout. The 6-1 guard out of Oak Hill Academy (Va.) averaged 15.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and a team-high 5.0 assists per game to help the USA capture a 5-0 record and gold medal at the 2009 FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Argentina. The following summer, he returned to help the USA to an 8-0 record and gold medal in the inaugural 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship in Germany, this time averaging 7.5 points, 3.0 rebounds a tournament-leading 7.4 assists per game.
In 2011, Cook will again wear a USA Basketball jersey as a member of the USA Junior National Select Team that will compete against the World Select Team in the 2011 Nike Hoop Summit on April 9 at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore.
The Duke-bound point guard also will play in the McDonald’s All-American Game on March 30 in Chicago, Ill., and with Oak Hill Academy in the ESPN Rise National High School Invitational April 1-3 at Coppin State University in Baltimore, Md.
Cook took a few minutes from his busy schedule to talk with USABasketball.com about international basketball, his prep career and the next level, and you might be surprised who the future Blue Devil said he most likes to be compared to.
Are you looking forward to reconnecting with your USA teammates?
It’s going to be fun reuniting one more time. It’s been an honor playing with these guys and just to get on the floor with them again will be great. I’ve been playing with them for two years now, so our first practice, it’s all going to click. As a point guard, I already know where a lot of those guys want the ball.
What do you expect to face from the World Team in the 2011 Nike Hoop Summit?
I’m expecting great competition. They are the best players from around the world, and they are on the team for a reason. So, I’m expecting great competition. And I know the last couple of years it has been a great competition. I just can’t wait to get on the floor in a competitive game like that.
You mentioned you’ve watched the past couple of Nike Hoop Summits. Anything stick out in your memory?
Yeah, the World Team plays with a lot of intensity. They play hard, like they have something to prove. Our team, with a lot of USA guys, we’ve played against some of the best the past few years, and we know what to expect out of them. But we can’t play around, we will have to stay focused.
What was the biggest challenge you encountered while playing international basketball?
Just adjusting to the FIBA rules – the lane is different, the shot clock, eight-second back court. And the rule about being able to hit the ball off of the rim, the foreign players do that on a daily basis, so they are used to it.
Is there an international rule you’d like to see the high school game adopt?
I think all of high school should have a shot clock. I think that would make the game a lot more entertaining and competitive.
What made Duke a good fit for you?
My relationship with Coach K. I feel I can be successful on and off the court there. I want to win, and Duke is a winning school. So, everything was perfect there for me.
What is your favorite training routine or drill?
I wouldn’t point to a specific drill, but anytime I go to the gym I do everything game-speed. I will imagine picks set for me, and I do a lot of counter moves. Everything is game-speed.
What is your least favorite training routine or drill?
Conditioning. After every work out or practice I run, just because at the next level, you can’t take plays off. Everybody is as good as you, so you definitely got to be conditioned and go the extra mile. That’s really going to help you out in the long run, so I definitely do lot of conditioning. I don’t like it, but I got to do it.
Where is the most room for improvement in your game?
I think all around. I’m not perfect. I think I need to work on my jump shot more, get it as consistent as I want it to be. I want to get bigger and stronger for the next level, and I want to work on my defense.
Who do you most like to be compared to?
Kemba Walker. Because he can score, and he runs his team and gets others involved. We are the same height, and I had the chance to play against him a lot this summer. I definitely compare my game to his.
What helps you stay motivated?
My family. My moms always believes in me. My friends always believe in me. They tell me that I can make it, and they keep me motivated the most.
Where are you in your high school season?
We are in an independent league that’s finished, but we are playing in the ESPN Rise National High School Invitational coming up March 31 through April 2. That’s the only championship we can really play for. We don’t have a state championship to play for.
What do you think about your chances in the ESPN Rise tournament?
We started off No. 1 in the country. A couple people got hurt. We lost our best big man to a broken foot. So we lost three games, but we finished strong. We finished on about a seven-game winning streak and now we are top five in the country again. Now, we are just waiting for the tournament to try and compete for a national championship.
*With a 27-3 record, Oak Hill is the No. 4 team in the nation according to USA Today’s most recent Super 25 rankings.
How do you feel personally as your prep career begins to come to a close?
That is just more motivation. I definitely want to end my high school career on a good note. I’ve had a very successful high school career, and there is no better way to end it than by winning a championship. So, that’s definitely my motivation and that goes for every senior on my team.