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Getting a grip with Noah Vonleh

6/26/2014
Whatever happens in the 2014 NBA draft, Noah Vonleh appears to have a great future in his hands. Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images

Noah Vonleh is one of the draft's more intriguing prospects. Few saw much of him during his one season with a middling Indiana team, but he measured out impressively and has been rocketing up the draft boards. We caught up with the prospect who, ideally, becomes a prototypical stretch 4 for your favorite team.


Q: By now are you better at workouts or interviews?

A: I think I’ve been pretty comfortable with both.

Q: Do you plan on being a stretch 4? Do you plan on shooting the 3 a lot at the NBA level?

A: Yeah, that’s what I see myself starting off at at the next level, a stretch 4 being able to pick and pop, hit 3s, getting the pick, being able to drive the ball from different spots on the perimeter.

Q: How did you develop that shot of yours? Did you think you were going to be a little guy? Did you think you were going to be a guard growing up?

A: I always had pretty good touch. Worked a lot with my AAU coach Vin Pastore over the years. At Indiana my shot improved a lot working with Seth Cooper, one of the managers. And now I’m out in Long Island working with Jay Hernandez.

Q: What was it like for you to work out for the Celtics? I know you grew up in that area.

A: It was surreal, watching the Celtics play a lot when I was younger. Watching Paul Pierce when I was growing up. I was real happy to be working out for them.

Q: Were you a Celtics fan growing up, or did you like another team?

A: I liked certain players on the Celtics. No, the Celtics weren't my favorite team. My favorite teams are probably the Sixers and the Orlando Magic because of Allen Iverson and Tracy McGrady.

Q: Was T-Mac the guy you wanted to play like growing up?

A: Yeah, I just liked the way he scored the ball. I tried to do some things like him. I’m not T-Mac, though.

Q: Why aren’t you T-Mac? (*chuckle*)

A: Umm, I can handle the ball, do certain things, but not like the way he scores the ball ...”

Q: That’s the first time today I’ve asked somebody, “Why aren’t you Tracy McGrady?” I’ve read about how you have larger hands than even Kawhi Leonard does. Is there any downside to that at all, or is it just awesome?

A: I don’t see no downsides to it. It helps a lot with ballhandling. I think I shoot the ball pretty well for a guy that has big hands. It helps on defense, too, steal the ball, block shots.

Q: You obviously have a lot of defensive potential. You’re really young, though. What do you think you’re going to get better at defensively going forward?

A: College and the NBA is real different, the physicality in the paint. I’m going to have to get used to guys covering me different because in the NBA you can use your forearms. In college, you can barely touch the guy when he’s on offense.

Q: How did you feel about college reffing? It seems like less organized than the NBA.

A: I watched a lot of college and NBA. I noticed in college they changed the rules, you can’t hand check or whatever. Whenever you put your hands on a guy or touched him, there were a lot of fouls.

Q: I’ve seen some different projections for you, as high as No. 2. Would you be shocked if that happens?

A: Oh really? (laughs) I haven’t heard that, but I’ll be real happy if that happens.

Q: As the youngest player in the draft, how do you feel about growing up in the NBA? Are you anxious at all?

A: Umm, I’m real anxious and excited. A little bit nervous, just watching those guys growing up. I’m very excited to make my dream come true in the next couple weeks.