- Thomas Neumann, ESPN.com
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The last time we spoke with North Carolina State guard Staats Battle, it was to congratulate him for winning the ESPN.com Coolest Name in the NCAA tournament bracket.
That was in early April.
Naturally, we wondered if Battle has let success go to his head in the seven weeks since. Does he still remember the little people?
ESPN Playbook caught up with Battle to get the lowdown on his brush with fame. Here’s what transpired:
How has your life changed after winning such a momentous award?
When my high school friends came back [to Raleigh] from college, they all said how they sent the [contest] links out to all their friends. And it’s a good conversation starter when someone comes up who I’ve never seen before and says, “Hey, you’re Staats Battle. Congratulations on your national championship. I voted for you.” That’s pretty cool.
How has this sudden fame affected your social life?
A lot more people know who I am. One of my friends was having a party, and right when I walked in they started clapping for me. ... I’ll be walking at the mall with C.J. Leslie or Lorenzo [Brown] -- before, people would just come up to them and say, “Hey, what’s up? Good season,” and they would just ignore me. I went with C.J. last week and [someone] said, “Hey, C.J., how’s it goin'?” and “Oh Staats, yeah, I voted for you. Congratulations.”
What do your teammates think of that reaction?
They think it’s pretty funny, like Staats is moving up in the world.
How big is your entourage these days?
Not that big. Just teammates and some friends I’ve met around campus.
You were able to get your feet wet at the Division I level as a freshman this past season. What can we expect from you on the court as a sophomore?
My role is gonna be pretty much the same as last year. Just working hard on scout team to get my teammates ready for the real games. I don’t really expect a lot of playing time. But that’s fine with me. I’m just happy to be part of the team and help my teammates get better at practice.
NC State made it to the Sweet 16 in this year’s NCAA tournament. What is the team’s goal looking ahead to next season?
We think the sky’s the limit. We got a taste of success; we want to strive to get to that point again and maybe even go further.