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|Kevin Love and beach volleyball pro Jess Gysin practice in Times Square after Love's announcement.|
Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Kevin Love is wasting no time finding another paycheck and sport during the NBA lockout. Jose Cuervo is sponsoring Love for volleyball's biggest tournament of the year, the Manhattan Beach Open, on Aug. 26, announced Tuesday at a makeshift volleyball court in the middle of Times Square.
Love has serious beach credentials. He's the nephew of Beach Boys star Mike Love, grew up in Santa Monica, Calif., and graduated from UCLA. And while he still needs to qualify, which he'll attempt at a volleyball tournament Friday, Love says he's up for the challenge. He spoke to Page 2 at the announcement:
What made you decide to try to qualify for the Manhattan Beach Open?
It was just a fun thing that kind of came my way. Jose Cuervo presented me the opportunity to play in their Pro Beach Volleyball Series and for me it was a home run. It's a way for me to stay active and an excuse to get in the sun and just keep my competitive juices going with no basketball. Obviously, I'm playing and still working on my craft, doing the yoga, doing the strength conditioning and being on the court. One way to stay active is to get in the sun and play volleyball, so what better way than to be on the beach and do it?
How are your volleyball skills?
Other than just bumping it around with friends, I never really played too seriously. It will be really fun to get serious with it and try to compete as best as I can. It would be great if I ended up making the tournament and really having some success with it.
You have the jumping part down.
Definitely. A lot of the same intangibles so for me being tall and long and athletic and being able to play the net and being able to jump, there's so many things that go along with it.
How do you feel right now about the uncertainty in the NBA?
I'm pretty confident with it. The NFL, they came to an agreement. They kind of laid the groundwork for us. Hopefully we can come to an agreement and not miss any time like them. I'm pretty confident that we'll get this thing resolved and hopefully come out on top as players.
Any overseas opportunities?
A few opportunities have come my way from different places over in Europe. Most of it is barnstorming that you do with a group of players, the Philippines, China. A different series of events that could take place. I'm just waiting for the right opportunity to bounce on that. Right now I'm staying in the states.
So what is California life like for you right now?
On the weekends I'm out in the sun as much as possible. I just try to take in every day. Like John Wooden said, make every day your masterpiece. I take the mindset of I'm going to take over the world.
How does California compare to Minnesota?
The times I'm in Minnesota it's a heated garage, heated apartments, heated locker rooms, heated practice facilities. It's a totally different life. Most of my life is still spent in the gym in L.A., but Southern California life is always in the sun and outside and wearing less clothing.
Having an uncle that's a Beach Boy, do you have any musical talents of your own?
I'm going to try to pick up the piano. I don't feel right being a part of such a great lineage of a musical background and not be able to play music or sing. I'm not going to sing, because I can't. I'm not going to embarrass myself, but I'd like to be able to pick up the piano.
Any other side hobbies besides volleyball and piano?
I'm a professional napper. I love taking naps.
Laura Lane is a contributor to Page 2 and ESPN The Magazine.
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