Hometown: Ewing, N.J.
My hometown is Ewing, New Jersey. I’ve lived there all of my life. It’s a small town and where I fell in love with basketball. It’s a sports town - football and basketball - but basketball is big in Ewing.
My family is everything to me - my mom, dad and little brother. All of my immediate family lives close to me, including my grandma, my aunts and my uncles. We always get together for the holidays and for birthdays. My family is a very big part of my life.
I started playing basketball when I was five years old. I started playing organized basketball when I was in second grade. Obviously I’m still playing and I still love the game as much as I did then. It’s taken me a lot of places and I’m sure it will create a lot more opportunities for me. I love the game to death.
My high school is Princeton Day School. I went to high school in Princeton, N.J. It’s a small day school and it was one of the best decisions of my life to decide to go there and not go to public school. That’s no diss to any public school I would have gone to, but it was a great opportunity to go there and get a great education from one of the best schools in the country. The people I met there and the experiences I had at Princeton Day were amazing and life-changing.
When I was younger I wanted to be an NBA player. I always wanted to play in the NBA. That’s been my goal always, and that’s still my goal. I’m steadily working towards that.
The hardest part of being away from home is not having a chance to see my mom, my dad, my little brother, my family, period, and my best friends. I don’t necessarily miss home per se, but I definitely miss them everyday.
My little brother and I have grown closer over the years, especially with me not being home. I enjoy just seeing him grow up, to talk to him on FaceTime, things like that. He’s becoming a man right before my eyes.
Playing basketball has given me too many experiences and opportunities to count. It’s taken me all over the world: Spain, Puerto Rico and pretty much every state across the country. It’s given me the chance to get an education at Princeton Day and here at the University of Miami. The game is giving me so much I cant even put it into words.
When I played basketball growing up I pretended to be Allen Iverson at first. I had a lot of NBA players I looked up to, though. I’d have to say Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady and LeBron James.
When I was introduced to Coach L, the first time I spoke to him over the phone was after an AAU tournament. I liked how he obviously complimented me on my game, but instead of telling me everything I wanted to hear, he told me I needed to be rebounding more and this is why he was recruiting me. Most coaches just try to sell you a dream and tell you what you want to hear. To see that he cared about my game was important to me and I liked that. And now he’s the best coach I’ve ever had. He’s allowed me to become a great player and have a great career. I wouldn’t be here at this level, playing in the ACC and getting the chance to play in the Sweet 16, without Coach L.
I’m a Hurricane because I wanted to play in the best conference, the ACC. I wanted to play for Coach L, one of the best coaches in the country. I wanted to be in Miami. I felt like it was a great fit for me, and it has been nothing but that.
The U will be a part of me forever. This community, this school, welcomed me in with open arms, the way it all just worked out. Even though my first year we weren’t as great, we’ve steadily gotten better each year. Just to see the change in the atmosphere of the program and now Coach L getting the best recruits in the country - McDonald’s All-Americans –it’s great to say I was a part of that and helped build that foundation here.
The city of Coral Gables is a quiet little area. When I first was thinking about Miami, I didn’t really know what Coral Gables was. I like the dynamic between South Beach and here.
Playing for Coach L, I’ve learned so much on and off the court. He’s not only just a basketball coach, he’s been like a life coach to all of us on the team. He’s constantly telling us stories and giving us life lessons. I just look at the game a lot differently now, stuff you don’t even think about before you get to college. The different games within the game. If you stick to the game plan, the score will take care of itself. The different ways, numbers of everything, how it changes your perspective on the game, is amazing.
One thing everyone should know about UM hoops is that it’s on the rise. In years to come, Miami will be considered a powerhouse and a top-tier program in the country.
I’m happy to be a part of some great experiences and history here at the University of Miami. I’m proud to say I’m a Hurricane and proud to have scored 1,000 points wearing this uniform. I’m looking forward to trying to win an ACC Championship, and that will make me happy and feel like I left my own legacy here.
To be a Miami Hurricane means representing this University every time you step on the court and every time you go to class. Everything you do, it’s that pride to be a Hurricane. I think everyone who comes here and plays for this University feels that.
Coach L is the most different coach I’ve ever had. He’s like a father figure, and he relates to us even though he’s a lot older than us. He’s a great coach and a great person, and I’m glad he was my college coach.
My favorite thing about the U family is when I see the fans outside of the games, in the community or somewhere, and they come up to me and show their support or their love. Those are the moments that mean the most to me. It’s cool to see everyone cheering at the games, but when they actually recognize you in public and want to come talk to you and want you to take a picture with their son or daughter, those are the best moments to me.
I’m the closest on the team with Kamari Murphy, Ja’Quan Newton and Anthony Lawrence.
Dunking and threes both have their own feel. A three can be a dagger. There’s just something about a three. It’s worth more points and I like to shoot threes, a three is a big thing for me. It gets me going. When you get a good dunk, though, maybe dunk on somebody, that adrenaline rush, you get to scream. A dunk is a different feeling.
If I wasn’t playing basketball I’d still be in college. I went to Princeton Day School. Going to college was always mandatory. My mom always said I was going to college. I wanted to, and I’m very goal oriented. I would definitely still be in college right now.
Some of my personal goals are to win an ACC Championship this year, I obviously want to graduate, too. I’ll be graduating this May. I want to play in the NBA for as long as I can, and have a happy and healthy career. I just want to be successful. I want people to remember me as a great person. I want to have kids and raise a family. I want to raise them and teach them the things my parents taught me, and see them live their dreams.
If I see something and I want it, I do my best to go get it.
I like to have fun with my teammates, have a good time, listen to music and shop. I love R&B and hip hop. I like concerts and going out having a good time being with good people, and my family.
My favorite holiday is Christmas, but Thanksgiving, as well. There is nothing like being home and having a big family.
Nobody knows that I can juggle. I can juggle a little bit.
Becoming a man, this is a never-ending thing. You can learn something every day. Becoming a man is something I take pride in, something I’ve done a good job at so far. Obviously my parents and my family have done a good job at creating a foundation for me becoming a man, and being here with Coach L and this coaching staff, they have definitely contributed a lot to me becoming a man and growing as a person. You can never be too much of a man.
After college I want to be happy. That’s the best way I can say it. I want to play in the NBA. Not only make as much money as I can, but be happy and be healthy. Whatever I want to do as a career after basketball, I just want to be happy. My mom says, ‘do what you would do for free’. Ultimately I just want to be happy, and I don’t have all of the answers for that right now.